Think Globally Act Locally Or How the World Government Is Being Advanced With a Little Help from their Friends- The Maine Legislature!
( this post will likely be rewritten and expanded upon later, with links added)
Marco Rubio really gets it.
Think Globally- Act Locally- that has been the purpose of the Maine DECD since it was established in 1987 with this statement in its findings:
§13051. Legislative findings (DECD)The Legislature finds that the State's economy is linked to the national and international economies. Economic changes and disruptions around the world and in the nation have a significant impact upon the State's economy. The rise of 3rd-world and 4th-world countries as manufacturers of commodities for mass markets and the gradual evolution of the national economy to a technological, informational, specialty product-based economy have significantly affected the State and its communities. [RR 2013, c. 2, §5 (COR).]The DECD is the planning board for the FAME Corporation (Financial Authority of Maine) - a corporation chartered by special act of Legislation, in violation of Article IV Part Third Section 14 of the Maine Constitution which prohibits the Legislature from chartering corporations except for municipal purposes or if the object of the corporation cannot be achieved by other means. One might say that central management of the Maine economy cannot be achieved by means other than the State but central management is by definition a State purpose. By making an exception for municipal purposes, the Maine Constitution is excluding State purposes (central management). The Legislature seems to believe they can get around our Constitution by merely deeming any unconstitutional act they want to enact as an "essential government function"- so essential that Maine managed to do without a centrally managed economy (technically- totalitarianism) for 165 years before the Maine Legislature deemed that we cannot function without it.
In 2017 the Maine Legislature enacted what can arguably be called a global economy tax with the Major Business Headquarters Expansions Program which is classified as a governor's bill. Sponsored by Senator Troy Jackson, with no divided reports, cosponsored by Senator BREEN of Cumberland, Senator DOW of Lincoln, Representative FREDETTE of Newport, Speaker GIDEON of Freeport, Representative HILLIARD of Belgrade, Senator VOLK of Cumberland and no reported roll-calls
Maine's New 2% Global Economic Development Refundable Tax CreditTo qualify for benefits, the corporation must fulfill these requirements, as found on the DECD website:
- The company's principal facility, from which the applicant directs its national or global business activities, determined by the Commissioner of DECD, at time of application, are or will be located in the State of Maine;
- The applicant employs at least 5,000 full-time employees worldwide, of which at least 25% are or will be based in this State;
- The applicant has business locations in at least 3 other states or foreign countries; and
The amount that the Maine taxpayer is mandated to refund global businesses is only 2% compared to the 60% capital investment the public is required to refund under the Seed Capital Tax Credit. However, the 2% refundable tax credit is not qualified by where that investment takes place. It is written as thus on the DECD website::
- The applicant intends to make a qualified investment, within the State of Maine, of at least $35,000,000 to design, permit, construct, modify, equip or expand the applicant's headquarters
The Major Business Headquarters Expansions Program.I find this enactment quite disturbing, especially when one considers it as a progression following the enactment of Industrial Partnerships in 2015, which is nothing short of the State enacting more totalitarian control over everything via the economy.
Beginning with the tax year during which the certificate of completion is issued or the tax year beginning in 2020, whichever is later, and for each of the following 19 tax years, a certified applicant is allowed a credit against the tax due for the taxable year in an amount equal to 2% of the certified applicant's qualified investment
The Impact of Kelo Vs New London On Maine's new Major Business Headquarters Expansions Program
One must also factor in the US Supreme Court ruling, Kelo vs New London. The dispute resolved by the U.S. Supreme Court in 2005 pitted the city and the New London Development Corporation against seven property owners who did not want to sell their 15 combined properties In a 5–4 decision, the Court held that the general benefits a community enjoyed from economic growth qualified private redevelopment plans as a permissible "public use" under the Takings Clause of the Fifth Amendment. The development which was the cause of the dispute, never took place.The land remained undeveloped 10 years later. Private corporations authorized to exercise governmental rights of eminent domain by the Kelo vs New London decision are required to promise to employ 1000 or more persons. The global corporations empowered by Maine's Major Business Headquarters Expansions Program will enjoy governmental powers of eminent domain pursuant to the Kelo vs New London decision. The Maine Act is limited to closed military bases. The statutory charter for the state governed municipality of MRRA grants it the power of eminent domain. No one's private property rights are protected if these global corporations want it.Thanks to Governor LePage and the Maine Legislature.
It is establisjed precedence that benefits granted to the pubic-private government continually expand. The towns of Berwick and Sanford were granted Pine Tree Zone in a bill sponsored by Representative Beth O'Conner. Expect to see the Major Business Headquarters Expansions Program expanded to all Pine Tree Zones in the near future (I predict sometime in the next four years), putting all private property in the municipalities of Berwick and Sanford subject to taking by corporate eminent domain rights.
The percentage of private enterprise capitalization costs, financed by the public in the Seed Capital Tax Credit climbed from 30% when it was enacted in the 80's to 60% by the year 2011.
The much smaller 2% of the businesses capitalization costs granted as a refundable tax credit implies that the 2% is calculated on the corporations global capital investments, and not restricted to local investments in the state, thus Maine public funds can be used to create jobs anywhere in the world if my speculation is consistent with the reality. The evidence is as follows:
Although the DECD website identifies the credit as a mere tax credit, the statute identifies it as a refundable tax credit:
3. Refundable credit allowed. A qualified applicant is allowed a credit as provided in this subsection
.....2) Cumulative credits under this subsection may not exceed $16,000,000 under any one certificate.A "refundable tax credit" means that if the holder does not owe taxes, the public owes the holder the amount of the credit. Traditionally tax exemptions such as the Pine Tree Zone exemptions apply to businesses that create 250 or more jobs in one location. In 2014 Governor LePage introduced An Act to Improve Maine's Ability to Attract Major Private Investments "dubbing the bill “Open for Business Zones”. It was an expansion of the Pine Tree Zone tax credits exclusive to businesses hiring 1500 employees. The bill did not pass but it demonstrates LePage's thinking. A quick scan of Major Business Headquarters Expansions Program and its Summary confirms it is LePage's 2015 bill on steroids
Transformational business expansion project. (2017) "Transformational business expansion project" means the construction, development, rehabilitation, expansion, modernization or acquisition of any building, structure, system, machinery, equipment or facility in a military redevelopment zone, as defined in Title 30-A, section 5250-I, subsection 11-A, that has a projected cost of $50,000,000 or more and the operation of which is projected to result in a net gain of at least 1,500 job opportunities. "Transformational business expansion project" does not include an electric rate stabilization project, as defined in Title 10, section 963-A, subsection 7-A, or a project primarily involved in the provision of housing or retail sales to consumers.
- At the top of the report on Pine Tree Zone for the 2017 Tax Expenditure Review by the Office of Program Evaluation & Government Accountability of the Maine State Legislature, submitted to Government Oversight Committee and Taxation Committee it is most clearly stated that "Pine Tree Development Zones –Program Design Does Not Support Intended Goals; Whether Program Is Achieving Results Despite Design Is Unknown As Adequate Data Is Not Readily Available to Assess Outcomes
The military redevelopment zones are Pine Tree Zones.
In 2013, Douglas Ray, Legislative Liaison (lobbyist?) for the DECD cited wages as high as three times that of the average wage in Maine in Pine Tree Zone sectors:
Mr. Douglas Ray testimony before The Joint Standing Committee on Labor, Commerce, Research, and Economic Development March 19 2013
Of the 390 or so businesses participating in the Pine Tree Development Zone Program a vast majority, more than 300 are manufacturers, that's roughly 80%. These businesses have pledged almost a billion dollars in investment and anticipated payroll of nearly $850 million and 74 hundred jobs.
Jessica Hall reporting for the Portland Press Herald on the ICA Report of the effectiveness of the Pine Tree Zone Tax Incentives:
…. According to the ICA report, the total value of corporate incentives was divided by the total number of newly created jobs, which provides a “rate per created job” or information on what governments “paid” for one new job. Maine awarded total incentives worth $159,000 per created job for the period from 2010 through 2013, the report found. Portland Press Herald. Pine Tree Zones tax breaks costing state more than they deliver by Jessica Hall April 14 2014
The price the state is paying for those jobs exceeds the private enterprise’s cost of hiring the employees by 38%. Even factoring in bureaucratic costs specific to the state there is enough of a margin to be an incentive for the private company to create jobs that do not contribute to the profit-making function of the private enterprise. If so, it becomes a contributing factor in the rapid rise of inflation since the 1970's when refundable tax credits (redistribution of wealth) was instituted across the USA. Inflation is a hidden form of wealth redistribution.
- Municipal Home Rule was added to the Maine Constitution in 1969 granting municipalities local economic development authority.
- Federal BRAC closure rules give priority to local economic development conveyances with the state becoming involved only when there is no local redevelopment authority.
- In 1999 county officials of Washington County met with Maine's representatives in Washington D.C and came back with a special act of federal legislation that changed the BRAC closure rules so that the State was granted priority over local economic development conveyances for the Cutler Navy Base in Washington County.
- In the ensuing process, the Maine Legislature violated Article IV Parts 13 &14 of the Maine Constitution when it chartered the military base as a municipal corporation serving as an instrumentality of the state.
shell com·pa·nyThe general BRAC (federal military base closure rules) terms of transferring the property at no cost require that the DOD can show that other transfer authorities paying fair market value were insufficient. The Cutler Development Corporation, a private non-profit corporation did not make a bid because it was prearranged as a public-private relationship for the State to acquire the property at no cost and then to give it to the private non-profit corporation (Cutler Development Corporation). Since the state made no money from the sale of the property there was nothing to be invested in economic development at the newly formed municipal corporation of Washington County Development Authority. Cutler Development Corporation sold the property to developers and the surrounding municipalities reportedly split the profits among them. However, while David Eldrige and Kenneth Bucket Davis were selectmen for the towns of Cutler and Machias, respectively, there is no mention of that relationship to the towns found in the articles of incorporation for the Cutler Development Corporation, only the names of the two private individuals.
an inactive company used as a vehicle for various financial maneuvers or kept dormant for future use in some other capacity. Definition by Google
Perhaps, one might say Major Business Headquarters Expansions Program could be used to help the economy at WCDA, provided the Maine Legislature should be so inclined, but one should also ask, what another sort of economy could 16 million dollars support? There is a proud grassroots economy in Washington county and local economic development organizations which existed at the time that the State arranged for itself to be the economic development conveyance to which the base assets were transferred. The key word in Major Business Headquarters Expansions Program is "transformative". Transplanting global corporation into a community inevitably means the corporation will dominate the entire region and the effect will be gentrification in which existing inhabitants are relocated. Does this serve the common welfare?
Does the Top-Down Economy serve the common welfare?
OPINION: No! A top-down economy, the policy of the public-private government since it was instituted in the 1970's, can never serve the common welfare. The ultimate end result of such an economic ideology is the governance of the world by global corporations ordered by the corporate grid. The only system which serves the common welfare is one in which every economic class and contribution is valued, The top-down economy justifies its plundering of the public wealth with claims that the top and the top alone serves the public benefit, if not the common welfare. Nothing is farther from the truth as is evidenced by statistics showing that since the seventies the rich have gotten richer and the poor poorer. It is no wonder that the middle is vanishing when the Maine Legislature defines "quality jobs" by "higher than average" pay, rewarded with a multitude of freebies including public subsidization of payroll taxes, which are, of course, higher than average payroll taxes. The phrase "quality job" used by the State contributes to a class society culture which reflects negatively on all other jobs, detrimental to the common good, in which every contribution to society deserves respect and recognition. It is not so inappropriate a term when defined by the individual for him/herself. A quality job, in that context, for this individual, is one which provides an opportunity to grow.Tax exemptions transform a refundable tax credit into a cash refund, why not just call it a Reversible Tax, in which the holder taxes the public instead of the other way around? Speculatively, the 2% refund appears to be applicable to corporate global capital investments for reasons stated herein.
The refundable tax credit is limited to 16 million dollars, representing only 2% of the total investment. (Co-incidentally 16 million is the same amount of money which the Maine taxpayers had to cover in the Cate Street Scandal.)
The initial justification for creating the public-private government was because there was a need to create capitalization opportunities for small businesses located in Maine. According to the Beldon Hull Daniels Report, commissioned by the Maine Legislature in 1984, at that time the growth of small businesses hiring less than 100 employees, exceeded that of the national average but small businesses have difficulties finding capital, which large businesses do not. The idea behind the enabling legislation for the Maine Capital Corporation was to find a way to increase capital available to small businesses. We have come a long way from that. The language below, particularly the sentence: "The investments and activities of a qualified applicant and other entities that are members of the qualified applicant's unitary business must be aggregated to determine whether a qualified investment has been made " interprets as Maine public funds can be used to capitalize jobs created anywhere in the world.
When one follows the transformation of the policies of Maine's public-private state, established under Governor Longley in the 1970's, a transformation becomes apparent, evolving from the redistribution of public money to private capitalists required to be located in the State of Maine to Governor LePage's new 2017 version wherein owners of the means of production, receiving public capitalization, are required to be spread across the globe and other states. The private partner of the public-private government is no other than a global corporate mafia extracting their fees from the people with a little help from the progressively totalitarian State, mandating global corporate takes as taxes on the general public.
I. "Qualified investment" means an investment of at least $35,000,000 to design, permit, construct, modify, equip or expand the applicant's headquarters in the State or, for full-time employees based in the State, to train, retrain or educate them, or pay their student loan debt. The investments and activities of a qualified applicant and other entities that are members of the qualified applicant's unitary business must be aggregated to determine whether a qualified investment has been made. A qualified investment does not include an investment made prior to the issuance of a certificate of approval or after December 31, 2022. Major Business Headquarters Expansions Program
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
Definition ofGlobal corporations will not locate anywhere in Maine but only in Pine Tree Zones or similar zone where they have tax-exempt status. Boothbay does not have Pine Tree Zone status. Midcoast Regional Redevelopment Authority, a municipality governed by the State, has Pine Tree Zone Status. MRRA does not benefit regional development. All of the development generated by MRRA takes place within the boundaries of its own municipality. The fact that the MRRA is a special zone with its own special benefits stops it from becoming a regional development influence. If that were not the case, one might see a growth of cluster industries in the entire region but as it stands. other municipalities cannot compete with the special benefits granted to the town of MRRA via its Pine Tree Zone status.
1500 employees is a large size for Maine but 1500 people is a very small faction of our population which directly benefits from a potential tax of sixteen million dollars paid to a private corporation by Maine taxpayers to make those jobs happen. We have all heard the trickle-down effect argument but seldom mentioned are the benefits for the owners of the means of production, especially if the 2% climbs as did the Seed Capital Tax Credit ( from 30% to 60%).
SUMMARY Major Business Headquarters Expansions Program
The purpose of this bill is to improve Maine's overall competitiveness and ability to attract major private investment to the State by creating a mechanism for competing for major business expansion and creation projects, referred to as transformational business expansion projects, which are the construction, development, rehabilitation, expansion, modernization or acquisition of any building, structure, system, machinery, equipment or facility in a military redevelopment zone that has a projected cost of $50,000,000 or more and the operation of which is projected to result in a net gain of at least 1,500 job opportunities. An applicant who is certified by the Commissioner of Economic and Community Development as a transformational business expansion project is eligible for the following incentives and benefits:
1. A 20-year corporate income tax credit that includes a 100% credit for the first 10 years that the project is in operation and a 50% credit for the next 10 years that the project is in operation;2. A sales tax exemption and reimbursement for expenditures made for the project for up to 20 years;3. An annual reimbursement for up to 5 years from the Efficiency Maine Trust for electric rates that exceed the national average industrial rate as determined by the United States Energy Information Administration and certified by the Public Utilities Commission;
4. Employment tax increment financing benefits for qualified investments. The reimbursement is equal to 80% of Maine income tax withheld each year for which reimbursement is requested and attributed to qualified employees for a period of no more than 10 years. For years of operation beginning after the 10th year until the 20th year, the certified applicant is eligible for a reimbursement of 50% of Maine income tax withheld each year for which reimbursement is requested. This benefit expires after December 31, 2034;
5. Access to a pool of up to $500,000,000 in bond funding for transformational business expansion projects to provide long-term, credit-enhanced financing at taxable bond rates. Financing assistance for a single project may not exceed $400,000,000;
6. Access to workforce development assistance, training and recruitment by the Commissioner of Economic and Community Development and the Commissioner of Labor, who are required to work with agencies across State Government involved in employment or skill training to identify and marshal financial resources to help a transformational business expansion project recruit and train workers; and
7. Access to the benefits available under the Governor's Jobs Initiative Program, including access to funds from the Competitive Skills Scholarship Program.