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The Pine Tree Development Zone program (PTZ) offers eligible businesses the chance to greatly reduce, or virtually eliminate, state taxes for up to 10 years when they create new, quality jobs in certain business sectors, or move existing jobs in those sectors to Maine. Depending on the business sector and location, a business may be eligible for corporate tax credits, sales and use tax exemptions for both personal and real property, withholding tax reimbursements of 80%, and reduced electricity rates. Some financial sector companies may also be eligible for certain insurance tax credits. Maine Department of Economic and Community Development Commissioner George Gervais has described it as the “state's go-to program for helping incentivize new private investment and the creation of new quality jobs here in Maine.” But an independent review by the Office of Program Evaluation and Government Accountability, in a report released last fall, concluded that inadequate data makes it virtually impossible to determine if the program is working as intended. Lawmakers are considering renewing the program, which otherwise will stop issuing new certifications at the end of this year.
Do you support a continuation of the Pine Tree Development Zone program?

01/17/18 AT 03:49 PM
Yes — but ONLY if it includes the ability of the program to invoke claw-back penalties to recoup granted funds if the funded business fails to provide the jobs and other benefits to which it committed in its application for PTZ status and assistance.

01/17/18 AT 02:05 PM
Program audits must be developed and implemented to ensure performance.

01/17/18 AT 12:26 PM
Renew the program but only with clear annual metrics of job creation, tax revenue and capital investments.

01/17/18 AT 12:21 PM
Let's see some quantitative data before this program is renewed — otherwise we're just giving away the store with no assurance that the taxpayers' interests are served.

01/17/18 AT 12:09 PM
Corporate welfare with no accountability combined with opportunities for political shenanigans. Always was a terrible idea and was badly implemented. The free-market entrepreneur crowd should not get more assistance from the state than hungry children. You know, let the market choose the winners and losers.

01/17/18 AT 12:08 PM
I think there needs to be some accountability. Is the program working and, if not, don't renew. Also how many businesses has this helped? Is the program worth it if there's not a lot of participation?

01/17/18 AT 11:59 AM
The state does not have many economic development tools and can't afford to lose any of them.

01/17/18 AT 11:58 AM
I support renewing this program on the condition that OPEGA gets the data it needs to conduct analyses in the future!