I understand that success requires an pre-existing organization, capable of succeeding at a state wide effort, to that end, I sent this letter, to the Boothbay Register, the Lincoln County News, and the Portland Phoenix in hopes that it will resonate with those that have influence on the organized activists movements in Maine. It would be inspirational to see all sides come together to work on a singular cause.
During the last legislative session, which closed on July 10th, the legislature passed an LD 743 titled “An Act To Extend And Improve the Seed Capital Tax Credit Program”. It was heralded by all the Maine media as desperately needed in support of Maine entrepreneurs, which as it works with our legislature means Maine entrepreneurs that satisfy the requirements to be included in the legislature’s “targeted sector’. There was no other point of view presented in our media and to date I have found only one objection to the new improved Seed Capital Tax Credit Program, and this comes from the Chief Officer of FAME, Beth Bordowitz in a testimony before a legislative committee, Beth Bordowitz suggested that increasing the yearly limit by which the state can transfer tax payer money to private capitalists from 500,000.00 to 4,000,000,00 is going too far and that it would be wiser to simply double the amount. This advice from a highly placed executive officer in Maine’s economic development network, was ignored by our legislature and the ”improved” version, with its eight fold increase in the rate of transfer of wealth was passed by our legislature with out the Governor’s signature. Governor Lepage’s comment about not signing the bill was simply “It isn’t “impactful” enough”.
There are many other interesting details in the new improved Seed Capital Tax Credit Program, which I have documented in my blog, Preserving The American Political Philosophy, having found that many of those details are not mentioned in media news reports and so the only way to find out about them is to read the Act itself – or my blog.
The Seed Capital Tax Program is sold to the public as a means to bring capital to the state of Maine which is achieved by socializing the risk and privatizing the gain. The program directly transfers taxpayer dollars to private capitalists. It bypasses the bond process in which taxpayers have a say in how their money is spent and if they want to take on further indebtedness.
The Maine State Constitution provides 90 days from the close of the last legislative session to gather signatures for a people’s vote on any legislation passed. The Seed Capital Tax Credit Program gives away the people’s money and so there is no better bill for which there should be a people’s vote. If the people’s money is being given away- shouldn’t the people have a say in the matter? This is the opportunity to do so but the window is closing on that opportunity.
The original Seed Capital Tax Credit Program was passed in 1989 and did not come up for an extension until 25 years later when the allowed amount of funding reached its limit. If there is no people’s vote on the Seed Capital Tax Credit Program now, it will be a long time coming before the people have a chance to have a say in the matter, if ever. The new improved version escalates the affect of this program on the general economy of Maine by eight fold. There has been no public discussion about the effects of this program beyond the way that it benefits targeted sector entrepreneurs but it does affect the rest of the economy. A shrinking middle class may be one of its effects as the middle class accounts for a large portion of the tax payers whose money is being given away, especially after all the tax exemptions granted to Maine’s targeted sector are factored in.
The number of signatures required to bring LD 743 to a vote is one tenth the number of voters in the last gubernatorial elections. Successful signature drives require organizations behind them. There is no organization specific to this cause but this cause is non-partisan, as much a part of the ideology of the Maine People’s Alliance as it is of the ideology of the Ron Paulers. It is a very simple issue. The people’s money is being given away to private capitalists and so the people should have a voice in it.
I am calling all Maine Organizations who work in the interest of the people of Maine to come together to gather the required number of signatures for a people’s vote. Let the people decide if they want to authorize unselected government bureaucrats to give their hard earned dollars to private capitalists- and in the process let’s broaden the discussion on the long entrenched “targeted sector” economics practiced by our legislature.