2020 Annual Membership Meeting brings change of leadership and sales tax briefing

The Maine Auctioneers Association saw a change of leadership with William Milliken of Barridoff Galleries replacing Ruth Lind as President at the association’s annual meeting held February 20 at the Senator Inn in Augusta. Milliken, an attorney and licensed auctioneer, is co-owner of the fine art auction house Barridoff Galleries in South Portland, Maine.

Milliken’s goals as president include furthering the association’s mission of improving professionalism in the auction industry and promoting the auction method of marketing. Specifically, he’d like to ensure that the auction industry remains relevant in today’s changing times. “The auction industry, like everything else in our daily lives and businesses, has changed dramatically even since the 1990s with the advent of the internet, smart phones and the gig economy,” said Milliken. “It is vital that Maine auctions and auctioneers keep pace with the times to continue to properly perform their duties and provide top notch service to the consuming public.”

Milliken believes this is no more important than now in these times of social distancing, as the auction industry has already made great strides in conducting business online and remotely. “The MAA is recommending that there be no live audience auctions until it is safe to do so, and it appears that won’t be for awhile. However, we feel that the auction industry should be considered an essential business to help the public with the recovery efforts as the economy opens back up. The industry is well-positioned to carry forward despite today’s physical limitations, as fortunately the required infrastructure is mostly already in place to hold remote or simul-cast auctions.”

The term of president is one year, at which time Milliken hopes the industry will have turned the corner on these trying times. Ruth Lind, after serving over three years in the post, is staying on as past president in the position of board member to continue providing support and assistance to the association’s ongoing efforts.

The annual meeting also featured a sales tax briefing by Judy Methot, Director of the Sales, Fuel and Special Tax Division of the Maine Bureau of Revenue Services. Judy helped clarify and describe the various sales tax implications regarding the auction industry in the state, including when it is or is not appropriate to apply sales tax to a transaction and the proper way to fill out and maintain sales tax paperwork required by the state. A summary of the sales tax briefing will be posted separately on this website.

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