25 Apr

The nonpartisan Office of Program Evaluation and Government Accountability has been released and has caused a lot of bluster. The program is designed to bring new investment capital into areas that are struggling. The Government Oversight Committee has commissioned an OPEGA report to get all the facts. The report showed that the taxpayers in Maine have received solid investments from the program.

For every dollar places into the Maine New Markets Tax Credit program, the state has generated $21.67 in their gross state products. This measures the state’s economic activity including taxes, sales and other activities. The direct numbers have been exceptional. Every single dollar invested resulted in in state spending of $1.19.

The OPEGA reports the program will bring in a revenue gain of $15.8 million for the budget of the state from 2013 until 2021. This money will be a community investment and fund programs critical to the state.

The reports also showed an incredibly positive impact on the workforce. A total of 764 permanent jobs in Maine were either retained or created. Additionally, 1,000 indirect jobs were either saved or created. If it were not for the New Markets Capital Investment Program these jobs would not exist.

OPEGA found a timelier approach is required in understanding investment projects. They also found some of the programs idiosyncrasies that need adjustments to make future investments even more profitable. One of the main criticisms is that the tax credits are going to companies based out of state. This is considered a backwards criticism since economic development requires investments from other states. This money helps to grow the economy and without the funds stagnation is the result.

The report from OPEGA showed most of the investments made were by investors who had never placed their money in Maine before. This is exceptionally good news for the state. The economy in Maine is struggling and smart thinking and hard work are needed to create more jobs within the state. The report showed the New Markets Capital Investment Program is an excellent way to help achieve this goal. The solid return rate is having a positive impact in the success of the communities. As the upgrades are implemented and the program moves into the future Maine will be well served for many years.