Maine PLC Applauds Passage of Biomass and Sales Tax Bills
The Professional Logging Contractors (PLC) of Maine is applauding the Maine Legislature and Maine Governor Paul LePage for pulling together to pass two bills that will aid the state’s logging industry.
The bills will provide short term contract opportunities to producers of biomass electricity and exempting commercial loggers and farmers from paying sales tax on fuel.
The biomass bill, LD 1676, "An Act To Establish a Process for Procurement of Biomass Resources", was passed by both the Maine Senate and House with strong bipartisan support April 15 following debate in each chamber.
The sales tax exemption bill, LD 1481, An Act To Protect Maine’s Natural Resources Jobs by Exempting from Sales Tax Petroleum Products Used in Commercial Farming, Fishing and Forestry, also drew strong bipartisan support. Both bills were signed into law by Governor LePage on April 16.
PLC Executive Director Dana Doran, said. “Logging is a legacy industry and is the root of Maine’s forest products industry and we applaud our elected officials for coming together at a critical time to support it. Both bills provide relief to an industry that is struggling due to factors beyond its control.”
The biomass bill’s passage comes as the biomass industry is teetering on the brink of collapse in the face of competition from cheaper natural gas and loss of renewable energy credit agreements in neighboring states:
The PLC has estimated total economic losses to the state of Maine from the loss of the biomass industry could be as high as $300 million per year.
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