Testimony of Nancy Smith, Executive Director of GrowSmart Maine
in favor of LD 1653, “An Act To Make Fisheries and Wildlife Projects Eligible for Tax Increment Financing”
February 14, 2012
Senator Courtney, Representative Knight and members of the Joint Standing Committee on Taxation. My name is Nancy Smith and I am the Executive Director of GrowSmart Maine. As many of you know from our previous interactions with the committee, GrowSmart Maine is a statewide non-profit membership-based organization working to grow Maine's economy, protect its distinctive character and enhance our state's natural and working landscapes and communities. I regret that previously scheduled commitments prevented me or other GrowSmart Maine representatives from presenting this testimony at the Public Hearing.
As a part of our commitment to strengthening Maine’s economy, GrowSmart Maine is particularly enthusiastic about well grounded, thoughtful proposals which seek to grow the economy in a sustainable manner while at the same time preserving our state’s unique character and quality of place. We believe this bill fits that description.
In April of last year, we testified in favor of LD 533, “An Act to Clarify the Use of Tax Increment Financing Funds for Recreational Development”. We support this bill for the same reasons outlined in our testimony then.
Amending the current law which governs the use of tax increment financing to allow TIF funds for appropriate IF&W projects is appropriate because it acknowledges outdoor recreation as a key component to economic development for much of Maine. Investing in infrastructure that builds on the economic value of quality places is a sound investment of public resources. Allowing the TIF financing mechanism to be used for fisheries and wildlife purposes has the potential to advance much needed sustainable economic growth in rural areas of the state in a manner that conserves Maine’s unique quality of place.
Thank you for the opportunity to provide these remarks.
Please feel free to contact me with any questions regarding GrowSmart Maine’s support for LD 1653.