Testimony in favor of LD 646,“An Act To Provide Incentives for Municipal Cooperation and Shared Services” as well as LD 871, “An Act To Provide for Cooperation between Municipalities with Tax Increment Financing Districts”

Testimony of Nancy Smith, Executive Director of GrowSmart Maine
in support of LD 646, “An Act To Provide Incentives for Municipal Cooperation and
Shared Services”
April 15, 2015

Senator McCormick, Representative Goode and members of the Joint Standing Committee on Taxation, my name is Nancy Smith, I live in Monmouth and I am the Executive Director of GrowSmart Maine.  We are a statewide non-partisan, non-profit, membership-based organization working to improve Maine's economy, protect its distinctive character and communities, and enhance our state's quality places.

We believe this bill makes headway in achieving these objectives because it provides tangible incentives for inter-local cooperation in delivery of municipal services. This in turn frees up those resources for reduced taxes required of property owners or for additional investments in the things most valued by residents in these communities.

With this bill, the state legislature can support communities that partner in delivery of services and completion of government functions within the requirements for interlocal agreements outlined in state statute. I see this proposal as having value for both urban and rural communities, as shared service agreements have the potential for good results in any setting.  Smaller towns without expertise to pursue this have access to the regional Councils of Government and Regional Planning Commissions available to assist them.

We can all support the statement of purpose included in the first lines of this bill.  It may seem an unusual proposal, but it creates an incentive, building on the fact that municipalities are already accustomed to the TIF program and the process is already in place.
 

 

Testimony of Nancy Smith, Executive Director of GrowSmart Maine
in support of LD 871, “An Act To Provide for Cooperation between Municipalities with
Tax Increment Financing Districts”
April 15, 2015

Senator McCormick, Representative Goode and members of the Joint Standing Committee on Taxation, my name is Nancy Smith, I live in Monmouth and I am the Executive Director of GrowSmart Maine. 

We are a statewide non-partisan, non-profit, membership-based organization working to improve Maine's economy, protect its distinctive character and communities, and enhance our state's quality places. We believe this bill makes headway in achieving these objectives.

Communities across Maine are seeing the benefit of strategic tax-increment financing for building economic growth in the places where it makes the most sense. We believe that economic development efforts are most likely to achieve lasting success when municipalities look beyond their town boundaries and work within a region, or at the very least work with neighboring communities.

This bill improves the process for such collaborative efforts by allowing each municipality to share costs associated with a project that is part of their development program.  We encourage the committee to support this legislation.

filed under: Uncategorized