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December 16, 2011 | last updated December 16, 2011 3:14 pm

Report: ME average for subsidy programs

Maine is about average in its efforts to ensure subsidy programs like Pine Tree Development Zones create jobs, according to a new report from a Washington, D.C.-based think tank.

The report, "Money for Something: Job Creation and Job Quality Standards in State Economic Development Subsidy Programs" from Good Jobs First ranked Maine No. 21 in the nation for attaching job-creation requirements to major subsidy programs, with a grade of C-. The report looked at Maine's four programs -- Business Equipment Tax Reimbursement, Pine Tree Zones, an employment TIF and Research Expense Tax Credits/Super R&D Tax Credit. It called out BETR, with an annual cost of nearly $20 million, as one of 16 programs around the country that lack performance measures related to job creation or job quality.

The report scored subsidy programs based on whether they include performance measures like job creation requirements; rules related to the minimum wages that must be paid to workers at subsidized facilities; and requirements around employee benefits. Maine's average score was 43 out of 100, slightly better than the national average of 40.

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