AUGUSTA — The Maine Senate unanimously enacted “Hire American/Hire Maine” legislation from Senate President Troy Jackson, D-Allagash, on Tuesday. LD 268, “An Act To Create a Credit under the Commercial Forestry Excise Tax for Landowners Using Businesses Based in the United States,” creates a tax credit for companies that prioritize the hiring of Maine residents.
“Maine workers should have every opportunity to do the work going in this state. However, too many people working in the Maine woods have lost out to Canadian loggers, whose subsidized health care and cheap exchange rate make them nearly impossible to compete with,” said President Jackson. “This proposal has been a long time coming, and I want to thank my colleagues for taking real action to support Maine workers.”
To be eligible for this tax credit, companies must be based in the U.S. and U.S. residents must make up 90 percent of their workforce. The number drops to 75 percent after the first two years. The bill also has a “recapture” provision that allows the State Tax Assessor to rescind the tax credit if the state determines that the company in question did not meet the conditions of the credit.
President Jackson sponsored similar legislation that passed in the Legislature but was ultimately vetoed by Gov. Paul LePage last year.
LD 268 will now go to the desk of Gov. Janet Mills. She has 10 days to sign the bill, veto the bill or allow it to become law without her signature.