As Governor, LePage seems on track to implement the Steve Woods plan of nudging the inhabitants of rural towns to move into urban centers.
Mr Woods speaks as a man managing a corporation not as a would be Governor of a state. He speaks in calm Obamaesque tones signaling that we can surely trust this erudite man so pro-active for the cause of state corporatism. The corporate state replaced Maine's constitution back in 1976 when Governor Longely called in the heads of Maine industry to restructure Maine as corporation, kicking the old fashioned Maine constitution out of the way as they did so. Maine was going to re-invent itself- the government would serve not as representatives of the lowly inhabitants of the state but as a player on the global stage advancing the cause of an unrelenting ubiquitous megalopolis.
In the old days when Maine was a state, the Governor might be concerned with how the state might better serve the interests of the inhabitants of these towns but in the new globalist corporation of Maine, the CEO's of the corporation- such as Lepage have better plans- Can we use a bulldozer to remove these inhabitants who are not properly serving as instrumentalities of the state corporation? NO- but abruptly removing municipal revenue sharing might do the trick !
Mr Wood's fuzzy math forgot to factor in that the urban centers get the lions share of redistributed tax payer wealth classified as "economic development" and "job creation" ,The Augusta airport renovation was paid for with Obama stimulus funding. Augusta awarded itself 39% of the Obama Stimulus haul and distributed most of the rest to Southern Maine and urban centers . But in the picture drawn by Mr Woods none of that costs the corporation money, Such expenditures are classified either as an "investment" or a "reduction in revenue" as in the Lepage Budget. The "reduction in revenue" category includes socialist programs for the bottom half of the Maine economy and the job creation funding for the upper half of the Maine economy.
The jobs funded in the legislature's targeted sector must provide a higher than average income meaning that they deliver a high revenue stream to the corporation derived from an income tax on labor. In 2004 when the Pine Tree Zone Tax incentives were first passed , it was promoted as intended for high unemployment low income areas such as the 108 Maine towns in which Steve Woods would like remove their inhabitants (citizens & voters of Maine). When the Pine Tree Zone incentives were first passed there was much concern that it would soon be expanded to include the entire state. After it was passed there were soon efforts being made to do just that prompting Senator Peter Mills to write the following in 2010: (well worth reading the whole)
Typically, the programs are created to help depressed areas, but then political pressure causes them to spread over an entire state, he said.
"Everyone wants a piece of the pie," he said.
Maine appears to be following the same trend.
Originally sold as a way to spur development in the poor regions of northern and eastern Maine, Pine Tree Zones have expanded to include economically healthy communities in southern Maine, such as Wells and Kennebunk. The program started out with a focus on manufacturing sectors, but the Legislature recently expanded it to include a resort in Washington County.
The Portland area is one of the few places where the zones are prohibited because of the region's healthy income and unemployment data. Still, Westbrook officials and legislators were recently able to win an exemption for the Sappi paper plant to qualify, and midcoast lawmakers got a special Pine Tree Zone for Brunswick and 16 towns in the Brunswick labor market, including Topsham and Wiscasset.
Critics say the program is growing out of control and will evolve into a broad, new tax break for businesses that will over time shift the tax burden on to homeowners.
"It's part of the race to the bottom," said Chris Hall, a former Democratic senator from Bristol. "It shifts the burden on to those least able to afford to pay the taxes."
In 2003, when the Pine Tree Zone bill was being debated in the Legislature, Hall had warned that the zone would expand to every part of the state because lawmakers want to please the business interests in their home districts.
The Pine tree Zone was expanded State wide in 2009
The changes in this paragraph of the bill are quite revealing in the context of a theory which I hold to be true- that the state of Maine (which is now the corporation of Maine) is reaching for totalitarian control which will eliminate local governance:
13. Pine Tree Development Zone. "Pine Tree Development Zone" or "zone" means a specified area within the boundaries of a unit of local government, or within the boundaries of cooperating units of local government in a multijurisdictional application, the State that has been designated by the commissioner as a Pine Tree Development Zone in accordance with section 5250-J , subsection 3-A or 3-B.
And let us not forget this found in The Report- Governor's Task Force For Economic Redevelopment, Recommended Legislation For An Economic Development Program -110th Congress, 1976 ,written by the advisory committee on laying the Maine Development Corporation Foundation Stone !
2, eliminate the requirement for a local referendum on municipal bond issues.
In the fuzzy math of Steve Woods, Baldacci, Lepage and all the administrations since Governor Longely laid the foundation stone -that is the Maine Development Foundation Stone for the corporate state, socialists programs are calculated as costing the state money- they are not investments- but the redistribution of taxpayer money to private businesses in "public-private relationships" in which the public pays and the private entity profits- that does not cost the state money because it is classified as an "investment"- An investment in what? That is always parlayed as "creating jobs" the same meme through which bond after bond after bond wins approval from the Maine voters to be channeled through the Maine corporate system which redistributes taxpayer dollars as gifts to private industry.
In Lepages 2014 failed jobs bill, it went unnoticed by the Maine media that it was intended only for the two state governed towns of MRRA and Lorring as they are the only two towns located on former military development zones. In these two towns local governance has been eliminated and replaced with a board of tzars appointed by the state. They are now hotspots for the Pine Tree Zone tax incentives. Lepage's 2014 failed jobs bill was an expansion of Pine Tree Zone tax incentives to big businesses. Note that among the plethora of special benefits this bill would have delivered to the largest corporations in Maine, it includes a sales tax exemption !
/2014. An Act To Improve Maine's Ability To Attract Major Private Investments