On Tuesday, January 18, the Joint Standing Committee on Taxation held its first meeting of the Second Regular Session of the 130th Maine Legislature. The committee met for the purpose of reviewing reports completed by the Office of Program Evaluation and Government Accountability (OPEGA). The committee reviewed OEPGA’s reports on the Business Equipment Tax Reimbursement Program (BETR), the Business Equipment Tax Exemption (BETE) and the Maine Capital Investment Credit (MCIC). OPEGA completed these reviews in February 2020.
The Maine State Chamber of Commerce testified in opposition to the findings in these reports in 2020 before the Government Oversight Committee (GOC). In both the BETR / BETE report and the MCIC report, OPEGA concluded that none of these tax expenditures significantly encourage capital investment in the state. The Maine State Chamber strongly disagreed with these findings and argued that these programs do in fact result in significant capital investment. The Maine State Chamber testified that the BETR and BETE programs are perhaps two of the most significant public policy initiatives that the State of Maine has ever enacted to promote investment, encourage job retention and creation, and position Maine to compete globally. As far as the MCIC, the Maine State Chamber testified that the purpose of the credit was to encourage businesses, especially small- and medium-sized businesses, to invest in depreciable assets sooner to stimulate Maine’s economy.
The Taxation committee met on Thursday, January 20 to discuss the Tax Expenditure Working Group report and OPEGA’s report on Maine’s Seed Capital Tax Credit. The Maine State Chamber will continue to monitor these work sessions on the various OPEGA reports. If you have any questions, please contact Linda Caprara by calling (207) 623-4568, ext. 106, or by emailing email@example.com.