An Act To Promote Major Food Processing and Manufacturing Facility Expansion and To Create Jobs in Maine
Sec. 1. 36 MRSA §191, sub-§2, ¶HHH is enacted to read:
Sec. 2. 36 MRSA §5219-VV is enacted to read:
§ 5219-VV. Credit for major food processing and manufacturing facility expansions
(1) The applicant is, and has been for each of the last 5 years prior to application for a certificate of approval, a corporation or limited liability company organized under the laws of this State;
(2) The applicant's headquarters are, and have been for each of the last 5 years prior to application for a certificate of approval, located in the State;
(3) The applicant intends to make a qualified investment in the State within 5 years following the date of the application;
(4) Construction of the applicant's facility begins no sooner than April 1, 2019 as evidenced by the date of issuance of an appropriate municipal building permit;
(5) The applicant employs or will employ upon start-up of the facility at least 40 full-time employees, of whom 100% are or will be employees based in the State; and
(6) The annual per capita personal income of at least 75% of the applicant's employees exceeds the income derived from employment threshold as published by the Department of Economic and Community Development for the county in which the facility is located.
(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 facility 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 as long as the transferee meets the same eligibility requirements and conditions for the credit as applied to the original certified applicant.
The commissioner may not issue certificates of approval under this subsection that total, in the aggregate, more than $100,000,000 of qualified investment or any individual certificate of approval for more than $85,000,000 of qualified investment.
(1) A credit is not allowed for any tax year during which the taxpayer does not meet or exceed the following employment targets as measured on the last day of the tax year.
(a) For each of the first 3 tax years for which the credit is claimed, there must be a total of at least 40 full-time employees based in the State whose jobs were added since the first day of the first tax year for which the credit was claimed.
(b) For each tax year after the 3rd tax year for which the credit is claimed, the taxpayer must employ a total of at least 60 full-time employees based in the State whose jobs were added since the first day of the first tax year for which the credit was claimed.
Jobs for additional full-time employees that are counted for determining eligibility for the credit under one certificate of completion may not be counted for determining eligibility for the credit under a separate certificate of completion. For purposes of this subparagraph, "additional full-time employees" does not include employees who are shifted to a certified applicant's facility in the State from an affiliated business in the State. The commissioner shall determine whether a shifting of employees has occurred. For purposes of this subparagraph, "affiliated business" has the same meaning as in section 6753, subsection 1-A.
(2) Cumulative credits under this subsection may not exceed $34,000,000 under any one certificate.
(1) The number of full-time employees based in the 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 report to the assessor and to the joint standing committee of the Legislature having jurisdiction over taxation matters at the time the report is received.
Notwithstanding any other provision of law to the contrary, the reports provided under this subsection are public records as defined in Title 1, section 402, subsection 3.
Sec. 3. Credit design evaluation. By February 28, 2024, the Office of Program Evaluation and Government Accountability, referred to in this section as "the office," shall complete and submit to the joint standing committee of the Legislature having jurisdiction over taxation matters and the Government Oversight Committee a tax expenditure design evaluation review of the credit for major food processing and manufacturing facility expansions established under the Maine Revised Statutes, Title 36, section 5219-VV, referred to in this section as "the tax expenditure." The review must include an assessment of:
1. The extent to which the design of the tax expenditure supports accomplishment of the tax expenditure's purposes, intent and goals;
2. The extent to which the design of the tax expenditure directs benefits to the intended beneficiaries; and
3. The extent to which the State's current or planned administration of the tax expenditure, including enforcement efforts, is efficient and effective.
The office shall include with the review recommended performance measures appropriate for analyzing the evaluation objectives established for full evaluations under the Maine Revised Statutes, Title 3, section 999, subsection 1, paragraph A and make recommendations regarding data that would be necessary to perform the analyses. The joint standing committee of the Legislature having jurisdiction over taxation matters may submit a bill to the Second Regular Session of the 131st Legislature regarding the credit for major food processing and manufacturing facility expansions.
Sec. 4. Legislative findings; purpose. The Legislature finds that it is in the best interest of the people of the State to encourage the location and expansion of major food processing and manufacturing facilities 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 food processing and manufacturing facilities in the State will create jobs, benefit small businesses that supply goods and services to the major food processing and manufacturing facilities and their employees, increase the tax base and provide many other direct and indirect economic benefits to the State.
The purpose of this credit is to create high-quality jobs in the State by encouraging major businesses to locate or expand their food processing and manufacturing facilities in this State.
This bill, modeled on the tax credit for major business headquarters expansions, provides a tax credit to a food processing and manufacturing business that:
1. Is, and has been for the 5 years prior to application, a corporation or limited liability company organized under the laws of the State;
2. Has been headquartered in this State for the 5 years prior to application;
3. Pays at least 75% of its employees a salary that exceeds the income threshold for the county in which the facility that is the subject of the application is located;
4. Agrees to make an investment of at least $35,000,000 in the construction or expansion in this State of a facility for that business; and
5. Adds a total of 40 new full-time employees by the end of the first year of qualifying for the tax credit, maintains that number for the next 2 years and then adds 20 more full-time employees, maintaining a total of 60 full-time employees for each year after the 3rd year of qualifying for the tax credit. The employees added must be based in the State.
A business that qualifies is allowed a refundable tax credit equal to 2% of the amount of the qualified investment each tax year for 20 years. The total investment that may be approved for any one business may not exceed $85,000,000 and the total aggregate investment that may be approved is limited to $100,000,000. The maximum amount of tax credits that may be received by a business under one construction or expansion project is $34,000,000.