AUGUSTA — Senate President Troy Jackson, D-Allagash, introduced legislation to support good-paying paper manufacturing jobs in rural, economically distressed areas of the state. LD 2123, “An Act To Create Fairness in the Revitalization of Maine’s Paper Industry,” creates a tax credit for paper manufacturing companies headquartered in Maine, like the Twin River Paper Mill in Madawaska, that maintain high levels of employment and pay workers above-average salaries for the area.
“Quality, good-paying jobs can have a ripple effect across entire communities. Fair wages support Maine families, strengthen small businesses and local economies, and help attract young people to stay and build a life in our rural communities,” said President Jackson. “This is about making smart investments in rural Maine, and I am looking forward to working with my colleagues to pass it into law.”
To receive the tax credit, paper manufacturing companies must make significant investments in capital improvements and facilities, maintain a minimum of 400 employees and pay 75 percent of employees wages above average for the county the company is located in. The tax credit targets areas of the state with high-unemployment to help Mainers find good-paying jobs and support Maine’s heritage industries.
Last year, President Jackson sponsored similar legislation to support food processing and manufacturing in rural Maine. The new law helped facilitate the construction of the Penobscot McCrum processing plant in Washburn.
LD 2123 was referenced to the Legislature’s Taxation Committee on Thursday. A public hearing will be announced in the coming week.