An Act To Create Transparency and Accountability in Economic Development Subsidies
Sec. 1. 10 MRSA c. 104-A is enacted to read:
MAINE ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT AND FISCAL ACCOUNTABILITY ACT
§ 881. Establishment; short title; purpose
The Maine Economic Development and Fiscal Accountability Act, which may be referred to and cited as "the Maine Economic Deveopment and Accountability Act," is created to require accounting by recipients of development subsidies and the government entities that make those development subsidies available.
§ 882. Definitions
As used in this chapter, unless the context otherwise indicates, the following terms have the following meanings.
§ 883. Unified economic development budget
§ 884. Unified reporting of property tax reductions and abatements
§ 885. Application for development subsidies
§ 886. Reports of granting body; publication; access by department
The report must be filed by February 1st and must contain the following information:
After the first report filed pursuant to this subsection, the granting body shall indicate in all subsequent annual progress reports whether the recipient corporation is still in compliance with its job creation, wage, health care and other benefit goals as specified in the application completed pursuant to section 885, subsection 1 and whether the corporate parent has maintained 90% of its employment in the State pursuant to the requirements of section 888, subsection 2.
§ 887. Subsidy limit and job quality standards
§ 888. Recapture
§ 889. Private enforcement action
If a granting body fails to enforce any provision of this chapter, any individual who paid personal income taxes to the State in the calendar year prior to the year in dispute, or, in the case of a municipally granted development subsidy, a property tax payer in that municipality or any organization representing such taxpayers may bring a civil action in Superior Court to compel enforcement under this chapter. The court shall award reasonable attorney's fees and costs to a prevailing taxpayer or organization.
§ 890. Public record disclosure
All records required to be prepared or maintained under this chapter, including, but not limited to, applications, progress reports, recapture notices and any other records or proceedings related to those records, are subject to disclosure under Title 1, chapter 13.
§ 891. Preemption
This chapter does not require or authorize a recipient corporation to reduce wages or benefits established under any collective bargaining agreement or state or federal prevailing wage law.
This bill enacts certain safeguards for state and local government expenditures for economic development and job creation by creating a procedure to collect, analyze and make publicly available information regarding those expenditures. It allows the governmental entity making a subsidy to recapture the subsidy if the recipient defaults on the employment, wages, health care or other benefits promised by the recipient in its application for the subsidy.