Comment about Lepage's Major Business Headquarters Expansions Program Deleted from Boothbay Register Candidates Discussion
The deleted comment brings up the Pine Tree Zone Tax Exemptions, which are long overdue to be repealed but there is no existing public dialogue to even suggest the idea, except for occasional articles about or by OPEGA, which is the Maine State Office of Program Evaluation and Government Accountability, and so they have to be allowed through every once in a while!
OPEGA has been reporting for years that the Pine Tree Zone is not meeting its purpose, and costs the taxpayers more than it is worth to the taxpayers, but, based on what I have seen, in my research, the taxpayers are pawns to be played in a transactional exchange between the public and private sides of our state government. The taxpayers may lose, but special interests profit from the exemptions and so the Legislature keeps passing more Pine Tree Zone styled legislation such as the Major Business Headquarters Expansions Program passed last year, which I wrote about in my previous post.
The good news is that the Pine Tree Zone is entering into its sunset years but the bad news is that, as with the Seed Capital Tax Credit, there will most likely be a push to renew it complete with full media support.
In the latest OPEGA report on the Pine Tree Zone, OPEGA sounds quite frustrated with making reports which are never seriously considered, such as in this paragraph:
OPEGA determined that many of the approved evaluation questions for the PTDZ Program could not be answered without considerable effort because of the shortage of readily available program data. We believe the data necessary to answer these questions could be obtained. However gathering it, preparing it and assessing it would require a significant amount of time for OPEGA staff and potentially the staffs of DECD, MRS and business participants. Given that the PTDZ Program has already begun to sunset and new certifications will not be issued after next year, OPEGA decided not to pursue obtaining that data at this time
The Major Business Headquarters Expansions Program is Pine Tree Zone styled legislation so when the Pine Tree Zone is phased out, a bigger meaner Pine Tree Zone is already in place. I have searched the Major Business Headquarters Expansions Program and related phrases but have not found the Major Business Headquarters Expansions Program reported or discussed in the media, despite the fact that LePage's last attempt to pass a similar bill received a great deal of coverage, It is no wonder that the public-private government wants to keep this bill secret. Taking the giant step of creating a tax on the Maine people (see the last post) to cover free capital for global and national corporations might stir up some resistance, as it should, Imagine how this can evolve into the future!
The purpose of LePage's transformational Act is to lure global corporate business and culture to Maine. The lure is a 2% refundable tax credit, which in practice is arguably a tax levied on the people of Maine based on 2% of the global corporation's global investments The wording is vague as to whether the 25% of total employment to be located in Maine still holds if the corporation employs more than 5000 employees. The Maine Legislature was very specific when it included the term "unitary business" in its description of a "qualified investment". The term "unitary" has a specific legal meaning, establishing that neither the specificity nor the vagueness of statutory language is an accident.
In Amoco Corp. v. Comm'r of Revenue, 658 N.W.2d 859, 865 (Minn. 2003), the court held that a business is unitary when the operation of the business within the state is dependent upon or contributory to the operation of the business outside the state. USlegal
We should be able to bring up this issue in the public dialogue as we approach election season, but that is not the world we live in.Norms need to change or things are only going to get worse.
Here is the same post from my Disqus file after it was deleted: At first the Disqus message said it was deleted as spam, when I checked that it is not spam, the message changed to what is now displayed.
Since I wrote the above, the status on the above Disqus post has reverted to Spam. I took another screenshot. If that changes, I will report, but historically it doesn't change.