Tempus Jets was procured for Maine via Pine Tree Zone incentives, However, the online promotional text published by the MRRA makes no mention of and grants no credit to Pine Tree Zone incentives in the decision of Tempus Jets to relocate to Maine. Instead it gives the clear and obvious reason why an aviation company, any aviation company, would find a former naval air station as a reason to relocate their real estate :
BRUNSWICK LANDING, Maine – The Midcoast Regional Redevelopment Authority is pleased to announce that Tempus Jet Centers, LLC (Tempus Jets) of Newport News, VA , will relocate its FAA Part 145 Aircraft Repair Station and VIP interior completions business to Brunswick Executive Airport (BXM) in the east bay of 166,355 s.f. Hangar 6. Due to the size and excellent material condition of the hangars at BXM, Tempus Jets will be able to expand its aircraft repair and completions business to include large commercial aircraft from Boeing and Airbus.....Scott Terry, CEO of Tempus Jets added, “we are excited to have discovered such a business friendly environment that includes the unique infrastructure that we require in order to effectively grow our maintenance, repair, and interior completions product line
Tempus Jets was lured to Maine, or so we are told in media publicity, with Pine Tree Zone incentives which includes 100% corporate tax exemption,, 100% personal tax exemption and 80% exemption on its payroll tax. There was no need for such a tax payer dollar giveaway when Maine's brand new city state, the MRRA is holding such a valuable card to the aviation industry. Is the heat generated by the competing states becoming so fierce that a Governor will stop at nothing to win the prize?
As I was researching this post, I discovered to my pleasant surprise that The Maine Center for Public Interest Reporting has a story published in the Bangor Daily News that dares to mention the words "corporate welfare" in the title no less ! Is the Pine Tree zone tax break corporate welfare?
This article tells us that:
The law that created the Pine Tree zones states that a business can qualify for the program only if “it demonstrates” that without the tax breaks it could not expand or start a new business.
This means that “but for” the tax break, the business would not add new jobs and make investments in the state..Is the Pine Tree zone tax break corporate welfare? Bangor Daily News Sept 12 2013
Can we really believe that an aviation company would not expand to such tailor made aviation real estate unless it receives generous charitable donations from the general tax payers? Whatever happened to the old real estate mantra - It's "location, location, location ?
If a private consumer has two online coupons for a purchase on the internet and tries to use both coupons at once, it is generally the case that it cannot be done- not so with the state. I have never run across a limitation in any of the economic "instrumentalities of the state" statutes, that prohibits the use of multiple "coupons," so to speak. which is to say that a business can participate in several of the states "discount and or refund and or gift programs" simultaneously. (as far as I have been able to determine )
By the MRRA's own words, Tempus Jets does not qualify for Pine Tree Zone benefits. - But now that it has them, there is no reason why Tempus Jets can't also apply for a Seed Capital Tax Credit since the Seed Capital Tax Credit is a "refundable tax credit"- meaning that if the recipient does not owe any taxes, then the taxpayers owe the recipient for up to a 60% refund of their investment- AND- if Tempus first applies to Maine's public charity- The Maine Technology Institute - then Tempus Jets can have it's original investment dollars matched and potentially use the total sum of their own investment plus an equally matching charitable donation from MTI (funded largely by state and federal tax payers) as the investment amount qualifying for a Seed Capital Tax Credit of up to 60% of their investment. That means thanks to the charity of MTI- Tempus would now qualify for up to a 120% refund of its original investment from the Maine state taxpayers via the Seed Capital Tax Credit. _ the list goes on. The main stream articles praising this new win for the state make references to more incentives to come for Tempus Jets.
Levesque said Tempus Jets is so far using only the Pine Tree Development Zone incentive. It could later seek other incentives, such as state-backed loans or federal development grants and credits- Portland Press Herald
"State -backed loans" sounds so copacetic ! A state backed loan- should merely mean the state co-signing the loan- but why would a "world class company" - to use Governor Lepage's words- need to have the state co-sign a loan? If the "three legged financial stool" a phrase used to identify the complete financing package of MTI, The Capital Seed Tax Credit and the SEGF, in this MaineBiz article, is used, and if the initial investment capital is borrowed, this could then translate as "government backed loans" in the new linguistics of targeted sector economics practiced by the state of Maine.
Federal development grants and credits are coming from a bankrupt and spendaholic federal government that prints worthless paper money at whim. Money redistributed to Tempus Jets will have a kickback effect on the value of money held by everyone. The shrinking dollar is a direct result of worthless money distributed by the federal government to the states and thence to the chosen ones such as Tempus Jets. The new chained consumer index that the Maine state legislation has elected to replace the consumer price index will serve to statistically hide the shrinking dollar caused in no small degree by the economic "development" policies of Maine State Inc and the national state competition the feeds the redistribution of the fruits of the American people's labor to private corporations in the USA and abroad.
We rarely see headline news stories about businesses receiving Seed Capital Tax Credits because the secrecy of the recipients is protected by Maine's tax privacy laws. We never see a complete total of the tab that tax payers have to pick up for the "public benefit" of creating "targeted sector" jobs in Maine.
Mr Levesue's words may sound pleasing to the uninformed and unsophisticated but are possibly nothing more than rhetoric to cover the intentions to give Tempus Jets the keys to the state's full tool box for redistributing Maine and federal taxpayer dollars.The full impact of the tool box package is hidden in its parts. Each part is presented separably to the public, but astute examination reveals that in practice the parts are intentionally designed to work together, as we see acknowledged in the Maine Biz article cited above, and in other news stories about the great success of Maine's targeted sector economic policies.
The Portland Press Herald story also includes the following quote from Mr Douglas Ray, spokes person and legislative liaison for the DECD
("legislative liaison" likely being code for tax payer funded lobbyist for the taxpayer funded Maine State Inc, which serves the "targeted sector" ONLY !)
Ray said the department has already certified Tempus Jets as eligible for the state's Pine Tree Development Zone designation, which provides corporate and sales tax exemptions to companies that create "quality jobs."The Pine Tree Zone has come a long way from its beginnings in 2003-4 as a program designated for high unemployment , low income areas, unless re -gentrification was always the intent- in other words driving out the poor and the middle classes to be replaced with an economic sector whose existence is dependent on artificially created "quality" jobs providing above average wages. ( links to a very well considered article by Murray N. Rothbard) We all like to have money but a free enterprise system, and the American way of pulling one's self up by one's bootstraps doesn't work within feudalism, which is what remains when the middle is excluded- the system which is being created by the manipulations of Maine State Inc.
Those jobs are defined as having salaries and benefits that are more than the per-capita average in the county where the company operates. In Cumberland County, that means total compensation of greater than $45,147 a year.
The following quote from the BDN article highlights both the heat between competing states and the original intent of the Pine Tree Zone legislation:
Pennsylvania and Michigan, for example, had aggressive business incentive programs. They went by different marketing-savvy names, such as Renaissance Zones, and were known generically as enterprise zones. They were designed to attract private investment to distressed areas within a state or a large city. The idea was to lower a business’s expenses, such as taxes, if they created new jobs.In 2009 -10, the Pine Tree Zone was expanded to include the whole state as it "moved almost silently through the legislature" , and as such removed any advantage for low income high unemployment areas for which it was originally intended.If the intent was to expand it to the whole state, then all that would have been necessary would be to repeal the Pine Tree Zone and enact lower taxes for all businesses in the state. Then there would be no need for high paid bureaucrats that function as an unelected government by tzars, head quartered in "municipal" centers of state government such as the MRRA. Instead the Pine Tree Zone was transformed into another general "instrumentality of the state" in a complete toolbox of instrumentalities whereby the tzars can pick and choose who gets and who just gets to pay.
Bangor Daily News Story Is the Pine Tree zone tax break corporate welfare? Sept 12 2013
Maine has two welfare systems - the general entitlement systems about which the general public is relatively cognizant and the corporate welfare, which is cloaked in layers of secrecy and spun as a great asset for "the public benefit" by the media- or at least it has been in recent years but reports generated by the Maine Center For Public Interest Reporting are starting to have an affect on general media reporting. The two welfare systems taken together are greater than the sum of the parts. The middle class foots the bill for the freebies- there being few if any "incentives" for the middle class, with most of Main Street being statutorily excluded from benefits and services of Maine's Department of Economic and Community Development (The DECD) through excluding the general retail sector. The general welfare class is a slave class to whom the state distributes whatever goods and services it needs to keep the slave class in its place and to keep their votes in place. Like many internet venues it's easy to get in and very difficult to get out. The slave class does not receive benefits in the form of capital for improving its own economic possibilities. Instead the system is designed so that if a person who has become dependent on entitlement programs makes a move toward improving their economic independence, they have to do so at the risk of losing that which has become their underlying security. This is parlayed as a form of "humanitarianism" by the proponents of expanding entitlements for the "people",
The Pine Tree Zone was originally proposed for areas of low income and high unemployment- to give entrepreneurs incentives to invest in those areas- by expanding the Pine Tree Zone to the entire state, the original intent of the Pine Tree Zone was obliterated. There is no longer a special incentive for entrepreneurs to invest in low income high unemployment areas. The incentive is the same everywhere but not for every one. It is only for those chosen as winners by the state. If it were for everyone - it would simply be low taxes for all businesses in all of Maine.
Under the Baldacci administration, more than 300 businesses have been certified for Pine Tree tax breaks since 2003. And although Republican Gov. Paul LePage has said nothing publicly about the program, his administration approved 37 businesses for the program since 2011, his first year in office. Bangor Daily News Sept 12, 2013Sen. Chris Hall, D-Bristol and Rep. Peter Mills, R-Cornville Letter To Sun Journal Expressing Concerns About Pine Tree Zone Legislation 2003
Pine Tree Zone Legislation 2004
Bangor Daily News Article About The Pine Tree Zone 2006
Central Maine Power Targeted Pine Tree Zone Rider On Rates 2004 amended 2013
Bangor Daily News Article On Maine Public Service's Reduced Rates for Business with Pine Tree Zone Certification 2004
Bangor Daily News Story Is the Pine Tree zone tax break corporate welfare? Sept 12 2013