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Weekly edition of IMPACT, a publication of the Maine State Chamber | March 11, 2022
“Dark Stores” bill passes House
Maine State Chamber opposes bill
The Maine House of Representatives voted 77 to 55 “ought-to-pass as amended” on LD 1129, An Act Relating to the Valuation of Improved Real Property, sponsored by Rep. Ann Matlack (D-St. George). The Maine State Chamber testified in opposition to LD 1129 at the public hearing.
The bill is expected to be on the Senate calendar next week for their consideration. The Maine State Chamber urges its members to contact their legislators and ask them to vote no on LD 1129. We have prepared talking points for you here.
Camp tax defeated in House
Maine State Chamber opposes bill to impose another local option tax
On Thursday, March 9, the Maine House of Representatives voted 76 to 53 rejecting the ought-to-pass as amended motion on LD 1337, An Act To Increase Affordable Housing And Decrease Property Taxes Through An Impact Fee On Vacant Residences, sponsored by Rep. Christopher Kessler (D-South Portland), also known as the “Camp Tax.” The Senate is expected to take up the bill when they meet on Tuesday, March 15.
Maine State Chamber Senior Government Relations Specialist Linda Caprara discusses LD 1337, the "Camp Tax”
Linda Caprara, senior government relations specialist for the Maine State Chamber, joined substitute co-hosts Chris Greeley and Andy Neff on the George Hale Ric Tyler Show Wednesday morning to discuss the Maine State Chamber’s opposition to LD 1337, also known as the “Camp Tax,” which would allow municipalities, through an ordinance, to impose an impact fee on second homes in Maine, three-quarters of which are owned by Mainers.
Listen to her segment here.
Tax committee passes former tax haven bill
Bill turned into resolve to require MRS to look into worldwide reporting
On Thursday, March 10, the Joint Standing Committee on Taxation voted along party lines “ought-to-pass as amended” on LD 428, An Act to Prevent Tax Haven Abuse, sponsored by Rep. Denise Teppler (D-Topsham). Democrats on the committee voted in favor of LD 428 while Republicans voted against it.
Taxation committee votes to pass Employment Tax Increment Financing legislation
The Joint Standing Committee on Taxation held a work session on Thursday, March 10. The committee unanimously voted “ought-to-pass as amended” on LD 1156, An Act to Reduce Errors in Employment Tax Increment Financing, sponsored by Rep. Amy Arata (R-New Gloucester). The bill, as originally drafted, attempts to simplify the way benefits under the Employment Tax Increment Financing (ETIF) program are calculated. The bill would base the benefits on gross wages of qualified employees rather than on income tax withholding for those employees.
Maine business and municipal leaders urge state lawmakers to sustain the gas tax supporting critical infrastructure
Suspending Maine’s gas tax: Good intentions, but a bad idea
Earlier this week, the Maine State Chamber of Commerce, Maine Better Transportation Association, Associated General Contractors of Maine (AGC Maine), and the Maine Municipal Association released a statement urging state lawmakers to sustain Maine’s gas tax. The statement was in response to a legislative proposal put forth to institute a nine-month gas tax holiday, which would cost the State Highway Fund $173 million.
Expanding natural gas pipeline capacity is key to cutting Maine energy costs
Across New England and in our state, natural gas is used to generate our electricity, heat our homes and offices and fuel our manufacturing. The region’s demand for natural gas is strong, yet supplies are scarce. It’s an artificial scarcity driven by a lack of pipeline capacity, not a lack of supply. There is a solution to this dilemma – expand pipeline capacity in the region. It’s a challenge we need to address now.
LD 697 would impact more than just electric utilities
Maine State Chamber expresses concerns about proposed changes that could make it harder for utilities to attract investment
On March 8, the Maine State Chamber submitted the following letter to the Joint Standing Committee on Energy, Utilities, and Technology regarding the proposed amendment to LD 697, An Act To Reduce Risks To Maine’s Critical Infrastructure.
From the Headlines:
Legislature’s Joint Resolution commends UMaine’s R1 designation
Among those in Augusta for the reading of the resolution and congratulations were UMaine President Joan Ferrini-Mundy; former UMaine professor George Jacobson, a member of the “Faculty Five” that helped advocate for state research and development funding, leading to the passage of the Maine Economic Improvement Fund (MEIF); Maine State Chamber of Commerce President and UMaine alumnus Dana Connors; and James Donnelly, vice chair of the University of Maine System Board of Trustees who who helped create MEIF when he served in the Legislature.
From the Governor's Newsroom:
Governor Mills applauds legislative committee for unanimous support of bill to raise wages for child care workers
On March 8, Governor Janet Mills applauded the Legislature’s Committee on Innovation, Development, Economic Advancement and Business (IDEA) for unanimously supporting a bill sponsored by Speaker Ryan Fecteau to raise the wages of Maine’s child care workers. Governor Mills has proposed $12 million to fund the legislation in her supplemental budget to increase pay for child care workers and early childhood educators to strengthen our child care system across Maine.
From the Manufacturing Institute:
STEP Women’s Initiative commemorates 10 years honoring exceptional women in manufacturing
130 manufacturing leaders to be recognized at 2022 Awards Gala
The Manufacturing Institute (MI), the workforce development and education partner of the National Association of Manufacturers, announces the recipients for the 2022 STEP (Science, Technology, Engineering and Production) Ahead Awards. From the factory floor to the C-suite, the STEP Ahead Awards honor women who have demonstrated excellence and leadership in their careers across all levels of the manufacturing industry. On April 28, the MI will recognize 130 recipients of the STEP Ahead Awards at an in-person gala in Washington, D.C., highlighting each Honoree and Emerging Leader’s story, including their leadership and accomplishments in manufacturing.