AUGUSTA – A bill from Senate President Troy Jackson of Allagash to help the Loring Development Authority (LDA) navigate the COVID-19 was signed by Gov. Janet T. Mills on Wednesday.
“As we continue to get the COVID-19 pandemic under control and get our economy back up to speed, this vital investment in the Loring Development Authority will support economic development in Aroostook County,” said President Jackson. “The base has so much potential, especially with the newly appointed board members. I’m grateful that the Maine Legislature was able to pass this measure quickly and that the governor has signed it into law.
LD 22, “An Act To Authorize Early Payment of Anticipated Funds to the Loring Job Increment Financing Fund” allows for an early transfer of the payments to the LDA from the Loring Job Increment Financing Fund. Every July, the State Tax Assessor deposits 50 percent of tax revenues from employment at the authority back into LDA’s coffers to support further investment and development. This new law allows LDA to withdraw those funds at any time within 12 months prior to the July deadline. The short-term injection of funds aims to transform the base into an economic hub for the region.
The Loring Development Authority of Maine (LDA) was created in statute upon the closing of the Loring Air Force Base in Limestone. The Authority manages the 3,700-acre business, commercial, and industrial park that includes a 1,600-acre aviation complex. It serves as a landlord to businesses and provides municipal services to approximately 300 residents and 28 businesses, which employ an estimated 800 workers. LDA works to attract new employment opportunities and jumpstart new economic activity in the area.
The emergency measure received unanimous support in the Maine Legislature and takes effect immediately.