LD 1358 (subjects: ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT , BUSINESS ASSISTANCE )
Official bill page at mainelegislature.org: http://www.mainelegislature.org/legis/bills/display_ps.asp?ld=1358&PID=1456&snum=127
Sponsors | Actions | Bill Text | Patterns of Support
- Rep. Scott Hamann of South Portland: (D – District 32) — e-mail | Twitter | Facebook
Rep. Erin Herbig of Belfast: (D – District 97) — e-mail | Facebook
Rep. Ryan Tipping-Spitz of Orono: (D – District 123) — e-mail | Twitter | Facebook
Rep. Adam Goode of Bangor: (D – District 127) — e-mail | Twitter
Sen. Earle McCormick of Kennebec: (R – District 14) — e-mail | Facebook
Sen. John Patrick of Oxford: (D – District 18) — e-mail | Facebook
Sen. Nathan Libby of Androscoggin: (D – District 21) — e-mail | Twitter | Facebook
Sen. Catherine Breen of Cumberland: (D – District 25) — e-mail | Facebook
Sen. Amy Volk of Cumberland: (R – District 30) — e-mail | Twitter | Facebook
|4/21/2015||Senate||Committee on LABOR, COMMERCE, RESEARCH AND ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT
suggested and ordered printed
On motion by Senator MASON of Androscoggin REFERRED to the Committee on LABOR, COMMERCE, RESEARCH AND ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT
Ordered sent down forthwith for concurrence.
|4/21/2015||House||Bill REFERRED to the Committee on LABOR, COMMERCE, RESEARCH AND ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT.
In concurrence. ORDERED SENT FORTHWITH.
|5/26/2015||Senate||Pursuant to Joint Rule 310.3 Placed in Legislative Files (DEAD)|
An Act To Support Innovation and Entrepreneurship in Maine through the Start Maine Up Program
Sec. 1. 5 MRSA 12004-G, sub- 7-G is enacted to read:
|Economic Development||Start Maine Up Approval Board||Expenses Only||5 MRSA 13120-FF|
Sec. 2. 5 MRSA c. 383, sub-c. 10 is enacted to read:
START MAINE UP PROGRAM
13120-R. Start Maine Up Program
The Start Maine Up Program is established within the department to encourage and promote economic development by providing tax-free economic incentives for approved businesses that create operations and expand within or relocate in designated areas of vacant land located at a state university or college campus in this State, as long as the businesses demonstrate future positive community and economic benefits for the State. The department shall administer the program in conjunction with the University of Maine System and the Maine Community College System.
As used in this subchapter, unless the context otherwise indicates, the following terms have the following meanings.
13120-T. Eligibility criteria for state university or college campus
13120-U. Eligibility criteria for businesses; exceptions
If a business seeks to expand its current operations in this State into a tax-free area but the business does not qualify as a new business because it does not satisfy the eligibility standard set forth in this subsection, the commissioner may grant the business permission to apply for participation in the program if the commissioner determines that the business has demonstrated that it will create net new jobs in the tax-free area and that it or any related person has not eliminated any jobs in this State in connection with this expansion.
13120-V. Approval of tax-free areas; designation of strategic state assets
The commissioner shall adopt rules necessary to carry out this subchapter, including, but not limited to, the following: the process for the plan submissions and approvals of tax-free areas; eligibility criteria that will be applied in evaluating those plans; the process for the evaluation and possible rejection of business applications; eligibility criteria that will be applied in evaluating those applications; a definition of “related person”; and the process for terminations from the program and administrative appeals of such terminations. Rules adopted pursuant to this section are routine technical rules as defined in chapter 375, subchapter 2-A.
13120-X. Prohibited businesses; restrictions
The following types of businesses are prohibited from participating in the program: retail and wholesale businesses; restaurants; real estate brokers; law firms; medical or dental practices; real estate management companies; hospitality; finance and financial services; businesses providing personal services; businesses providing business administrative or support services, unless such a business has received permission from the commissioner to apply to participate in the program upon demonstration that the business would create no fewer than 100 net new jobs in the tax-free area; accounting firms; businesses providing utilities; and businesses engaged in the generation or distribution of electricity, the distribution of natural gas or the production of steam associated with the generation of electricity.
A business must be in compliance with all worker protection and environmental laws and rules under the state laws. In addition, a business may not owe past due federal or state taxes or local property taxes.
13120-Y. Tax benefits
Beginning January 1, 2016, a business that is accepted into the program and locates in a tax-free area or the owner of a business that is accepted into the program and locates in a tax-free area is eligible for the tax benefits specified in this section. Subject to the limitations of this section, employees of such a business satisfying the eligibility requirements are eligible for the personal income tax benefits described in this section in a manner to be determined by the Department of Administrative and Financial Services, Maine Revenue Services.
13120-Z. Businesses locating in tax-free areas; application and approval process
(1) Suspension of the business’s participation in the program for one or more tax years as specified in the application;
(2) Termination of the business’s participation in the program; and
(3) Proportional recovery of tax benefits awarded under the program;
(1) The prior 3 years of federal and state income or franchise tax returns, unemployment insurance quarterly returns, real property tax bills and audited financial statements; and
(2) The employer identification or social security numbers for all related persons to the business, including those of any members of a limited liability company or partners in a partnership;
Beginning January 1, 2017, the commissioner shall prepare an annual report to the Governor and the Legislature that must include the number of business applicants, number of businesses approved, names and addresses of the businesses located within a tax-free area, total amount of benefits distributed, benefits received per business, number of net new jobs created, net new jobs created per business, new investment per business, the types of industries represented and other information as the commissioner determines is necessary to evaluate the progress of the program.
Any business located in a tax-free area must submit an annual report to the commissioner in a form and at such time and with such information as prescribed by the commissioner in consultation with the Executive Director of Maine Revenue Services within the Department of Administrative and Financial Services. The information must be sufficient for the commissioner and the executive director to monitor the continued eligibility of the business and its employees to participate in the program and receive the tax benefits described in this subchapter; evaluate the progress of the program; and prepare the annual report required by this section. The annual report must also include information regarding the wages paid by the business during the year to its employees employed in the net new jobs created and maintained in the tax-free area.
13120-BB. Conflict of interest guidelines
For the purpose of this subsection, “relative” has the same meaning as in Title 14, section 3572. For the purpose of this subsection, “official” means a person employed by a state university or college campus in a position of authority or trust.
13120-CC. Prohibition of anticompetitive behavior
A sponsoring state university or college campus may not accept any application from a business to locate in a tax-free area under section 13120-Z if that business would compete with other businesses in the same community but outside the tax-free area. The commissioner shall reject any application upon determining that the business competes with other businesses in the same community but outside the tax-free area.
13120-DD. Penalties for fraudulent activity
If the commissioner, on the commissioner’s initiative or on the recommendation of a sponsoring state university or college campus, finally determines that a business participating in the program has acted fraudulently in connection with its participation in the program, that business must be immediately terminated from the program. The execution by a business of an application containing false statements constitutes unsworn falsification under Title 17-A, section 453. In addition, the business must be required to add back to its taxes the total value of the tax benefits described in section 13120-Y that the business received for that year and that the employees of the business have received up to the date of those findings. The amount required to be added back must be reported on the business’s corporate franchise report.
13120-EE. Permitted disclosures
The commissioner, to the extent practicable, may disclose publicly the names and addresses of the businesses receiving any of the tax benefits specified in this subchapter. In addition, the commissioner may disclose publicly the amounts of those benefits allowed to each business, and whether or not a business created or maintained net new jobs during the taxable year, as well as the aggregate amounts of tax benefits allowed to employees. In addition, the commissioner may publicly disclose the number of net new jobs the business reports on its tax return or report or any other information necessary for the commissioner, or the state university or college campus sponsoring the tax-free area approved under this subchapter, to monitor and enforce compliance with this subchapter.
Notwithstanding any provision of this subchapter to the contrary, the Executive Director of Maine Revenue Services within the Department of Administrative and Financial Services in determining whether a business or any of its owners is entitled to the tax benefits described in section 13120-Y may use and if necessary obtain from the commissioner information derived from the tax returns of that business and wage reporting information relating to employees of that business or its related persons.
13120-FF. Start Maine Up Approval Board
The Start Maine Up Approval Board, established in Title 5, section 12004-G, subsection 7-G, is established to advise the department in accordance with section 13120-V.
Sec. 3. 36 MRSA 1760, sub- 96 is enacted to read:
Sec. 4. 36 MRSA 1866 is enacted to read:
1866. No use tax on property located in the Start Maine Up Program
A sales or use tax may not be imposed on the retail sale of tangible personal property or a service, the sale of which would be subject to tax under section 1764 or 1811, that is directly and exclusively for a business located in a tax-free area, as defined in Title 5, section 13120-S, subsection 11, that has been accepted by the Commissioner of Economic and Community Development under the Start Maine Up Program pursuant to Title 5, chapter 383, subchapter 10. The credit is allowed for 120 consecutive months beginning with the month during which the business locates in the tax-free area.
Sec. 5. 36 MRSA 4641-C, sub- 19, as amended by PL 2001, c. 559, Pt. I, 7 and affected by 15, is further amended to read:
Sec. 6. 36 MRSA 4641-C, sub- 20, as enacted by PL 2001, c. 559, Pt. I, 8 and affected by 15, is amended to read:
Sec. 7. 36 MRSA 4641-C, sub- 21 is enacted to read:
Sec. 8. 36 MRSA 5219-NN is enacted to read:
5219-NN. Start Maine Up tax credit
The credit allowed under this subsection is allowed for 120 consecutive months beginning with the month during which the business locates in the tax-free area.
Sec. 9. Tax provisions; application dates. That section of this Act that amends the Maine Revised Statutes, Title 36, section 5219-NN applies to tax years beginning on or after January 1, 2016; those sections of this Act that amend Title 36, section 1760, subsection 96 and Title 36, section 1866 apply to sales tax quarters beginning on or after March 1, 2016; and that section of this Act that applies to real estate transfers under Title 36, section 4641-C, subsection 21 applies to transactions occurring on or after January 1, 2016.
This bill establishes the Start Maine Up Program in the Department of Economic and Community Development to encourage and promote economic development by providing tax-free economic incentives for approved businesses that create operations in, expand within or relocate in designated areas of vacant land located at state university campuses or community college campuses in the State as long as the businesses demonstrate future positive community and economic benefits for the State. The department is responsible for administering the program in conjunction with the University of Maine System, the Maine Maritime Academy and the Maine Community College System.
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This information about LD 1358 was last updated on 2016-05-12.
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