An Act To Improve Maine's Ability To Attract Major Private Investments
Sec. 1. 10 MRSA §963-A, sub-§10, ¶T, as amended by PL 2013, c. 378, §2, is further amended to read:
Sec. 2. 10 MRSA §963-A, sub-§10, ¶U, as enacted by PL 2013, c. 378, §3, is amended to read:
Sec. 3. 10 MRSA §963-A, sub-§10, ¶V is enacted to read:
Sec. 4. 10 MRSA §963-A, sub-§49-K is enacted to read:
Sec. 5. 10 MRSA §1043, sub-§2, ¶J, as amended by PL 2003, c. 506, §2, is further amended to read:
(1) Whether individuals or entities obligated to repay the obligations have demonstrated sufficient revenues from the project or from other sources to repay the obligations, and a strong probability that those revenues will continue to be available for the term of the revenue obligation securities;
(2) Whether the applicant demonstrates a strong probability that the project will continue to operate and provide the public benefits projected to be created for the term of the revenue obligation securities;
(3) Whether the applicant demonstrates that the benefits projected to be created by the project are enhanced through the use of financing assistance from the authority;
(4) Whether the applicant's creditworthiness is demonstrated by such factors as historical financial performance, management ability, its plan for marketing its product or service and its ability to access conventional financing;
(5) Whether the applicant meets or exceeds industry average financial performance ratios commonly accepted in determining creditworthiness in that industry;
(6) Whether the applicant demonstrates that the need for authority assistance is due to the reduced cost and increased flexibility of the financing for the project that result from authority assistance and not from an inability to obtain necessary financing without the capital reserve fund security provided by the authority; and
(7) Whether collateral securing the repayment obligation is reasonably sufficient under the circumstances.
Financing assistance may not exceed for any one major business expansion project may not exceed $25,000,000 or for any one transformational business expansion project $400,000,000 in loan amount. The authority may establish, pursuant to rules adopted in accordance with Title 5, chapter 375, subchapter 2, application procedures, approval criteria and reasonable fees for major business expansion projects and transformational business expansion projects;
Sec. 6. 10 MRSA §1053, sub-§6, as amended by PL 2011, c. 586, §5, is further amended to read:
The amount of revenue obligation securities issued to refund securities previously issued may not be taken into account in determining the principal amount of securities outstanding, as long as proceeds of the refunding securities are applied as promptly as possible to the refunding of the previously issued securities. In computing the total amount of revenue obligation securities of the authority that may at any time be outstanding for any purpose, the amounts of the outstanding revenue obligation securities that have been issued as capital appreciation bonds or as similar instruments are valued as of any date of calculation at their then current accreted value rather than their face value.
Sec. 7. 26 MRSA §2031, sub-§5, ¶¶G and H, as enacted by PL 1995, c. 665, Pt. DD, §5 and affected by §12, are amended to read:
Sec. 8. 26 MRSA §2031, sub-§5, ¶I is enacted to read:
Sec. 9. 26 MRSA §2031, sub-§8, as amended by PL 2009, c. 213, Pt. JJJ, §1, is further amended to read:
An applicant that is not a business shall demonstrate, in partnership with a business or a consortium of businesses, the ability to link training services with actual job creation, expansion, upgrade or retention. Training provided under this section is considered approved training under the unemployment insurance laws and the laws regarding dislocated workers administered by the Department of Labor.
Training funds authorized under this section must be paid to the employer on a reimbursement basis.
Notwithstanding any provision of law to the contrary, a qualified applicant for a transformational business expansion project certified pursuant to Title 36, chapter 918 is eligible for funds available under the Competitive Skills Scholarship Program established pursuant to section 2033.
Sec. 10. 26 MRSA c. 43 is enacted to read:
RIGHT TO REFRAIN FROM JOINING A UNION IN TRANSFORMATIONAL BUSINESS EXPANSION PROJECT
§ 3501. Definitions
As used in this chapter, unless the context otherwise indicates, the following terms have the following meanings.
§ 3502. Right to refrain
Notwithstanding any law to the contrary, a person may not be required, as a condition of employment or continuation of employment in a transformational business expansion project, to:
§ 3503. Agreements in violation
An agreement, understanding or practice, written or oral, implied or expressed, between a labor organization and an employer that violates a provision of this chapter is unlawful and without any legal effect.
§ 3504. Penalty
A person who violates any provision of this chapter commits a Class D crime.
§ 3505. Injunctive relief
A person injured as a result of another person's violation or threatened violation of the provisions of this chapter is entitled to injunctive relief against the person violating or threatening to violate this chapter.
§ 3506. Damages
A person injured as a result of a violation or threatened violation of the provisions of this chapter may recover all damages, including court costs and reasonable attorney's fees, resulting from the violation or threatened violation. A recovery of damages under this section is independent of and in addition to the penalty provided in section 3504.
§ 3507. Duty to investigate and enforce
The Attorney General shall investigate complaints of a violation or threatened violation of this chapter and shall prosecute any person violating any of its provisions. The Attorney General shall use all means in the command of the Attorney General to ensure effective enforcement of this chapter.
§ 3508. Jurisdiction
The Superior Court has jurisdiction to hear and decide prosecutions of all offenses under this chapter.
§ 3509. Exceptions
This chapter does not apply to the following:
Sec. 11. 35-A MRSA §10124 is enacted to read:
§ 10124. Reimbursement for transformational business expansion projects
Sec. 12. 36 MRSA §2021 is enacted to read:
§ 2021. Reimbursement of certain taxes related to transformational business expansion projects
(1) Are owned by more than one person prior to their acquisition by the qualified applicant for a transformational business expansion project whose certification accompanies the reimbursement claim pursuant to subsection 3; or
(2) Have been used for a business purpose by a person other than the qualified applicant for a transformational business expansion project whose certification accompanies the reimbursement claim pursuant to subsection 3.
Sec. 13. 36 MRSA §5219-KK is enacted to read:
§ 5219-KK. Credit for investment in a transformational business expansion project
Sec. 14. 36 MRSA §6754, sub-§1, ¶E is enacted to read:
Sec. 15. 36 MRSA c. 918 is enacted to read:
TRANSFORMATIONAL BUSINESS EXPANSION PROJECTS
§ 6801. Purpose and intent
The Legislature finds that the encouragement of transformational business expansion projects in this State and the creation of substantial numbers of jobs are in the public interest and promote the general welfare of the people of the State. The Legislature further finds that the enactment of incentives as set forth in this chapter to promote transformational investments in the State and substantial job retention is necessary in order to preserve opportunities for jobs for the people of the State and to make this State more economically competitive and thus to ensure the preservation and betterment of the economy of the State for the benefit of its people. The Legislature further finds that the forgoing of benefits to the State and its people far exceeds the costs to the State of providing the incentives set forth in this chapter.
§ 6802. Definitions
As used in this chapter, unless the context otherwise indicates, the following terms have the following meanings.
§ 6803. Application procedure; certificate of approval
If the commissioner grants a transfer of the certificate of approval, the transferee must be treated as the certified applicant for all purposes of this chapter. For purposes of calculation of employment, withholding taxes, qualified investment expenditures and the number of qualified employees of the transferor prior to transfer, the state income taxes deducted and withheld by the transferor from the wages of those qualified employees pursuant to chapter 827 prior to transfer and the qualified investment expenditures of the transferor prior to transfer must be considered the qualified employees, withholding taxes and qualified investment expenditures of the transferee, respectively.
§ 6804. Assistance with workforce training
The commissioner and the Commissioner of Labor shall work with other agencies across State Government involved in employment or skill training to identify and marshal the necessary financial resources to assist a certified applicant who makes a qualified investment in recruiting and training qualified employees.
§ 6805. Reporting required
The assessor may prescribe forms for the annual report.
§ 6806. Maine preference
As part of the contractual inducement for the qualified applicant to make a qualified investment and for the State to provide the incentives pursuant to this chapter, a certified applicant, when awarding contracts, purchasing supplies or subcontracting work related to a qualified investment, shall give, to the greatest extent possible, preference to Maine workers, companies and bidders provided the supplies, products and bids meet the standards required by the certified applicant for best value, including, without limitation, quality and delivery, and are competitively priced.
The certified applicant in conjunction with the Department of Economic and Community Development shall sponsor regional seminars for Maine businesses on how to do business with the certified applicant.
The purpose of this bill is to improve Maine's overall competitiveness and ability to attract major private investment to the State by creating a mechanism for competing for major business expansion and creation projects, referred to as transformational business expansion projects, which are the construction, development, rehabilitation, expansion, modernization or acquisition of any building, structure, system, machinery, equipment or facility in a military redevelopment zone that has a projected cost of $50,000,000 or more and the operation of which is projected to result in a net gain of at least 1,500 job opportunities. An applicant who is certified by the Commissioner of Economic and Community Development as a transformational business expansion project is eligible for the following incentives and benefits:
1. A 20-year corporate income tax credit that includes a 100% credit for the first 10 years that the project is in operation and a 50% credit for the next 10 years that the project is in operation;
2. A sales tax exemption and reimbursement for expenditures made for the project for up to 20 years;
3. An annual reimbursement for up to 5 years from the Efficiency Maine Trust for electric rates that exceed the national average industrial rate as determined by the United States Energy Information Administration and certified by the Public Utilities Commission;
4. Employment tax increment financing benefits for qualified investments. The reimbursement is equal to 80% of Maine income tax withheld each year for which reimbursement is requested and attributed to qualified employees for a period of no more than 10 years. For years of operation beginning after the 10th year until the 20th year, the certified applicant is eligible for a reimbursement of 50% of Maine income tax withheld each year for which reimbursement is requested. This benefit expires after December 31, 2034;
5. Access to a pool of up to $500,000,000 in bond funding for transformational business expansion projects to provide long-term, credit-enhanced financing at taxable bond rates. Financing assistance for a single project may not exceed $400,000,000;
6. Access to workforce development assistance, training and recruitment by the Commissioner of Economic and Community Development and the Commissioner of Labor, who are required to work with agencies across State Government involved in employment or skill training to identify and marshal financial resources to help a transformational business expansion project recruit and train workers; and
7. Access to the benefits available under the Governor's Jobs Initiative Program, including access to funds from the Competitive Skills Scholarship Program.
Additionally, this bill prohibits requiring a person, as a condition of employment or continuation of employment at a transformational business expansion project, to join a labor organization or pay any labor organization dues or fees and establishes, in a manner similar to laws governing the shipbuilding facility credit, a preference for Maine workers, companies and bidders as part of the contractual inducement for the qualified applicant to make a qualified investment and for the State to provide the incentives.