Maine Legislators Trying To Remember If They Promised To Strangle All Commerce In Its Cradle, Or If They Pledged To Lay Down For It Like A Bangkok Prostitute This Legislative Session

Committee meeting. Maine news from the Rumford Meteor

Committee meeting. Maine news from the Rumford MeteorWhile the state is considering cutting aid to schools and communities, it is also spending more than $100 million a year on tax breaks for businesses that an audit has criticized as risky investments. According to the audit, 12 programs that reduce taxes on hundreds of businesses lacked the “ability to evaluate … performance and provide accountability.”  The state Office of Program Evaluation and Government Accountability (OPEGA) studied a total of 46 business incentives designed to promote job growth and designated a dozen as “high risk.” Among the problems found were inadequate performance measures, costly duplications and the lack of independent reviews that could cause “mismanagement and fraud to go undetected.”
The legislature has had the report for six years, but no significant changes have been made in any of the programs, based on a review of legislation during that period. On the contrary, just two years ago, the lawmakers created a new business tax credit that in its first year will cost taxpayers more than $5 million, according to the Maine Revenue Service. Reducing or eliminating what critics call corporate welfare has proved difficult because of the political clout of businesses, the lack of actionable data and plain inertia, say experts and legislators. (read more at Lincoln County News)

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