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Northern Maine Development Commission serves as a catalyst for economic development in northern Maine. As the federally designated Economic Development District for Aroostook and Washington counties and the point of contact for information about the Aroostook County Empowerment Zone (ACEZ) we know firsthand how important the tax credit is to businesses in the region. This letter of support is in favor of the reauthorization of that credit.
ACEZ was designated as a new Zone in 2002 under the EZ Program's outmigration criteria; with the region qualifying as a result of the large population loss experienced since the 1960’s. With the closure of Loring Air Force Base in 1994 and the ongoing changes in the potato and forest industries – the traditional economic engines of the region – this population loss accelerated.
Empowerment Zone designation was seen as an important change in direction because the federal funding available through the EZ programs could have a powerful positive impact on the regional economy.
All that remained of the original Empowerment Zone designation was the tax credit, which has benefited many businesses in the region.
Also, the Aroostook Partnership for Progress (APP), on behalf of its 160 businesses in Aroostook County, strongly endorses continuation of the tax credit, which creates or retains dozens of jobs in parts of Aroostook County.
For more information, call 498-8736 or toll free at 1-800-427-8736.
Visit the Empowerment Zone locator website.