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  • Published
    February 29, 2012

    Tax break deals studied … and studied, but questions remain unresolved

    Editor’s note: This is the second part in a two-part series about the state Pine Tree Development Zones. There are two ways the state spends money. One is by paying for goods and services, from roads to colleges to Medicaid. The other way is by not collecting taxes on some business, services and goods. This is known as foregone revenue or “tax expenditures,” expenditures being accountant-speak for spending. One …

  • Published
    February 22, 2012

    State lacks proof that $46m in Pine Tree Zone tax breaks created jobs

    Editor’s note: This is the first of a two-part series examining the state’s 8-year-old Pine Tree Development Zone program. Some people call tax breaks for businesses “economic development.” Others call them “corporate welfare.” In Maine, one of the names they go by is Pine Tree Development Zones. The premise of the program is that some businesses won’t create new jobs in Maine unless they get tax breaks. The …

  • Published
    November 2, 2011

    Dam safety program behind schedule, while inspector has second job as rugby coach

    Around 3:50 on the afternoon of Wednesday, Oct 12, a state-owned silver GMC Sierra pickup pulled into the parking lot at the Colby College rugby field. A man in a blue windbreaker got out of the truck, took a cardboard box of equipment from the cab and headed down to the field, where members of the college’s men’s and woman’s teams had gathered for their regular late afternoon practice. The man was their …

  • Published
    March 3, 2011

    Confidential employees’ pension plan costs ‘extra’ $3 million

    Editor’s note: This is part five in the Maine Center for Public Interest Reporting’s series on the state’s pension system. As state employees and teachers head into a second day of fighting the governor’s proposal to take almost 10 percent out of their paychecks to cover their pensions and pension debt, about 1,200 state employees known as “confidentials” have no such worry.Those employees — mostly in higher …

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