An Act To Promote Major Business Headquarters Expansions in Maine, Promote the Commercialization of Research and Development in Maine and Create Jobs
Sec. 1. 36 MRSA §5219-OO is enacted to read:
§ 5219-OO. Credit for major business headquarters expansions
(1) The applicant's headquarters are or will be located in the State;
(2) The applicant employs at least 5,000 full-time employees worldwide of which at least 25% are or will be based in this State;
(3) The applicant has business locations in at least 3 other states or foreign countries; and
(4) The applicant intends to make a qualified investment in the State within 5 years following the date of the application.
(1) The transferee is a member of the applicant's unitary affiliated group at the time of the transfer; or
(2) The commissioner finds that the transferee will, and has the capacity to, maintain operations of the headquarters in the State in a manner that meets the minimum qualifications for continued eligibility of benefits under this section after the transfer occurs.
If the commissioner approves the transfer of the certificate, the transferee, from the date of the transfer, must be treated as the certified applicant and as eligible to claim any remaining benefit under the certificate of approval or the certificate of completion that has not been previously claimed by the transferor.
The commissioner may not issue certificates of approval under this subsection that total, in the aggregate, more than $100,000,000 of qualified investment.
(1) A credit is not allowed for any tax year during which the taxpayer employs a number of full-time employees based in the State during the taxable year that is less than:
(a) During the first 5 tax years after the certificate of completion is issued, the certified applicant's number of full-time employees based in the State on the date the certificate of completion is issued; or
(b) More than 5 tax years after the certificate of completion is issued, 110% of the number of the certified applicant's full-time employees based in the State on the date the certificate of completion is issued. The level of employment for the tax year is measured on the last day of the tax year; and
(2) Cumulative credits under this subsection may not exceed $16,000,000 under any one certificate.
(1) The number of full-time employees based in this State of the certified applicant on the last day of the tax year ending during the calendar year immediately preceding the report year; and
(2) The incremental amount of qualified investment made in the report year.
The commissioner may prescribe forms for the annual report described in this paragraph. The commissioner shall provide copies of the reports to the State Tax Assessor at the time the report is received.
Sec. 2. Legislative findings. The Legislature finds that it is in the best interest of the people of the State of Maine to encourage the location and expansion of major business headquarters in the State and to encourage the recruitment and training of employees for these facilities. The Legislature further finds that the location and expansion of major business headquarters in Maine will create jobs, benefit small businesses that supply goods and services to the major business headquarters and its employees, increase the tax base, and provide many other direct and indirect economic benefits to the State.
The Legislature further finds that providing benefits only to those major businesses located in the State is an appropriate way to encourage major businesses to locate in this State and to encourage major businesses in this State to expand. The Legislature further finds that the benefits to the State from providing those businesses far exceeds the costs to the State of providing the incentives provided in this legislation and that the provisions of this legislation are necessary to accomplish these objectives.
This bill creates a refundable Maine income tax credit for the construction or expansion of major business headquarters in the State as long as certain investment and employment levels are met. The refundable so-called headquarters credit is equal to 2% of the qualified investment per year for 20 years, subject to certain limitations.
The bill also allows a taxpayer receiving the headquarters credit to elect to have any unused credit carry-forward for the research expense tax credit, super credit for substantial expansions of research and development, jobs and investment tax credit and Maine capital investment credit be made refundable for any tax year to the extent of the headquarters credit.