MFPC Legislative Update Feb. 12

What a surprise! Tree Growth Tax under attack again

 

No, you’re not experiencing deja vu. LD 188 An Act Regarding the Transportation of Products in the Forest Products Industry is yet another bill that proposes to use the Tree Growth Tax to promote an unrelated issue — and this bill is similar but even worse than last session’s LD 2061 An Act Regarding the Transportation of Products in the Forest Products Industry, which squeaked out of the Taxation Committee on a party-line vote and died when the pandemic ended the session.

We hope many members will again testify against LD 188 on Tuesday, February 23, at 9:30 a.m. We’ll be sending out talking points shortly. You can submit testimony and sign up to speak at the hearing here. If you’d like to see if you know someone on the Taxation Committee, their names and contact information can be found here. Find your Legislator.

Below is a comparison of the 129th’s summary of LD 2061 and the 130th’s summary of LD 188:

  • LD 2061 Summary: This bill provides that land of a landowner that owns 50,000 or more acres of forest land in the State and allows transportation of forest products harvested on the landowner’s land from a location in the State to another location in the State in violation of federal law or regulation or an international trade agreement is ineligible for classification under the Maine Tree Growth Tax Law and the landowner may not receive certain tax incentives or state grants or other state funding.
  • LD 188 Summary: This bill requires that owners and managers of log yards and mill sites present a copy of a trip ticket to a forest ranger in the log yard or mill site upon request. The bill adds a requirement related to the transportation of forest products by providing that a landowner of 50,000 or more acres of forest land in the State may not allow the transportation of forest products harvested on the landowner’s land from a location in the State to another location in the State in violation of federal law or regulation or an international trade agreement that prohibits the transportation of goods from a location in the United States to another location in the United States. The bill also provides that a landowner with 2 prior violations of the new transportation requirement is ineligible for classification of the landowner’s land under the Maine Tree Growth Tax Law and the landowner may not receive certain tax incentives or state grants or other state funding.

 

What happened Feb. 8-12

Monday Feb. 8

Inland Fisheries & Wildlife: Twenty-three people submitted testimony at the public hearing on LD 142 An Act To Give the Commissioner of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife Rule-making Authority To Establish a Bear Season Framework and Bag Limits. This bill is the result of a compromise in the 129th Legislature. The work session is Wednesday, February 24, 10 a.m.

Tuesday, Feb. 9

Agriculture, Conservation & Forestry, 9 a.m.: James May was confirmed to the Land Use Planning Commission, and Catherine Robbins-Halsted and Bob Meyers were confirmed to the Land for Maine’s Future Board.

Agriculture, Conservation & Forestry: 1 p.m. MFPC submitted testimony supporting LD 90 An Act To Amend the Removal Process Applicable to the Position of State Supervisor of the Forest Protection Unit of the Bureau of Forestry. The work session has not yet been scheduled. MFPC testimony on LD 90 final.

Health & Human Service, 10 a.m.: MFPC supported LD 129 Resolve, To Protect Consumers of Public Drinking Water by Establishing Maximum Contaminant Levels for Certain Substances and Contaminants, and opposed LD 164 An Act To Establish Maximum Contaminant Levels under the State’s Drinking Water Rules for Certain Perflouroalkyl and Polyflouroalkyl Substances. Read testimony. Bill Ferdinand testified for MFPC and was quoted in the Portland Press Herald. “These are important decisions both economically and for the public health,” Ferdinand said, “so we want them to be based on the best science and do not want to use standards in other states without a thorough review.” MFPC testimony on LDs 129 and 164 final.

Thursday, Feb. 11

Judiciary, 10 a.m.: LD 159 An Act To Extend Time Limits for Placing Land in Trust Status under the Maine Indian Claims Settlement. MFPC is monitoring, but sees no cause to oppose.

 

Coming up Feb. 15-19

With President’s Day on Monday and the winter school break, we expect a fairly slow week. We will continue to monitor budget deliberations. There are public hearings on the two bills below.

Thursday, Feb. 18

Agriculture, Conservation and Forestry, 9:30 a.m. LD 207 Resolve, Regarding Legislative Review of Portions of Chapter 1: Fee Schedule, a Major Substantive Rule of the Department of Agriculture, Conservation and Forestry, Maine Land Use Planning Commission. Monitoring.

Judiciary, 11 a.m.:

 

To submit testimony click here

To find your legislators click here and enter your address.

To watch a committee hearing click here to choose the right committee from a dropdown list and then on the top right side of your screen, click on YouTube (audio and video) or Live Audio.

 

About MFPC

Since 1961, the Maine Forest Products Council has been the voice of Maine’s forest economy. MFPC’s members are landowners, loggers, truckers, paper mills, tree farmers, foresters, lumber processors and the owners of more than 8 million acres of commercial forestland, but they are also bankers, lawyers and insurance executives. The Council represents members at the Maine Legislature and across the state, in Washington D.C. and across the U.S.