Crown Politics

LePage will pick 31 places to get tax breaks

Gov. Paul LePage has an extra month to pick 31 areas of the state to receive federal tax benefits that aim to encourage new investment in economically depressed areas. The tax breaks are part of the Republican federal tax overhaul passed last year.

LePage can’t pick just anywhere.

He’s limited to picking census tracts defined as low-income areas. In that way, he has a lot of options: 123, to be exact. He could choose communities in the Bangor area, parts of Lewiston and Portland, and depressed rural areas in western, northern and Down East Maine.

He could also pick up to two tracts that are adjacent a low-income area, called “contiguous tracts.” Governors faced a March 21 deadline to designate those areas under the new tax law, but LePage requested a 30-day extension from the federal government, according to a spokesman with the state Department of Economic and Community Development.

That designation will allow investors who put money into projects in those areas, dubbed “opportunity zones,” to avoid taxes on the capital gains returned by their investments. It’s an approach tried by past Democratic and Republican administrations, in efforts to use federal tax policy to lure investment or jobs to an area.

The County is pleased to feature content from our sister company, Bangor Daily News. To read the rest of “LePage will pick 31 places to get tax breaks,” an article by contributing Bangor Daily News staff writer Darren Fishell, please follow this link to the BDN online.

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