April 4, 2011
309 Cumberland Avenue
Portland, ME 04101
CONTACT: Kimberly Ballard
Testimony of Nancy Smith, Executive Director of GrowSmart Maine
in favor of LD 533,
“An Act to Clarify the Use of Tax Increment Financing Funds for Recreational Development”
April 4, 2011
Senator Trahan, 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 quality places. I regret that previously scheduled commitments prevent me or other GrowSmart Maine representatives to present this testimony at today’s Public Hearing for LD 533.
As a part of our commitment to strengthening Maine’s economy, GrowSmart Maine is particularly enthusiastic about well grounded, thoughtful and creative 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. It is clear that the proposals featured in LD 533 fit these challenging criteria and are thus deserving of enthusiastic support from GrowSmart Maine.
Amending the current law which governs the use of tax increment financing to streamline the process of allowing TIF funds to be used to expand recreational trails is appropriate because it acknowledges outdoor recreation as a key component to economic development for much of Maine. Investing in infrastructure related to building on the economic value of Quality of Place is a sound investment of scarce public resources. Allowing the TIF financing mechanism to be used for recreational development purposes has the potential of furthering much needed sustainable economic development in rural areas of the state in a manner that furthers and preserves Maine’s unique quality of place.
Please feel free to contact me with any questions regarding GrowSmart Maine’s strong support for LD 533.
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