Senator Troy Jackson (D-Aroostook) Urges Support For Maine Loggers, Oppose LD 1383

Posted on May 5, 2011. Filed under: Uncategorized | Tags: , , , |


There will be a rally at 11am Friday, May 6
, to support Northern Maine loggers and a public hearing for LD 1383, “An Act To Improve the Process by Which Logging Contractors Hire Legal Foreign Workers”, at 1pm in Room 208 of the Cross Building.

Here are video clips of Senator Troy Jackson (D-Aroostook) explaining the impacts of the recently passed LD 338, “An Act To Provide an Income Tax Credit for Logging Companies That Hire Maine Residents” on the Maine logging industry. Part 1:

Part 2:

Here again is Senator Jackson’s press release regarding LD 338’s passage:

 

Press release from the Maine Senate Democratic Office: SENATE DEMOCRATS FIGHT TO PROTECT MAINE LOGGERS


April 12, 2011- Senate Republicans give tax breaks to landowners hiring foreign labor

Augusta- Today the Senate voted down Senator Troy Jackson’s bill which, if passed, would have eliminated an existing tax break incentive to forest owners who hire foreign labor over Maine workers.

During a vigorous floor debate, Sen. Jackson, who is the Democratic lead on the Labor, Commerce, Research and Economic Development Committee said, “It’s a poke in the eye to watch Canadian trucks drive by my house on their way to Canadian mills, with Maine lumber while my neighbors sit at home unemployed.”

He went on to ask, “Do we really want to be giving tax breaks supporting the hiring of Canadian workers over Maine workers? It is my job to protect the people of Aroostook County, many of whom happen to be unemployed loggers.”

The law as proposed and amended would have required a landowner to notify the Department of Conservation, Bureau of Forestry if the forest land is harvested using bonded labor under the federal H2 bonded labor program. If a landowner or a harvester uses bonded labor, or if the landowner fails to provide the required notification, the land must be suspended from the Maine Tree Growth Tax Law for the year in which bonded labor is used and a penalty must be assessed under the commercial forestry excise tax to compensate the state for the General Fund.In a vote of 21-14, the Democratic caucus voted in support of LD 314.

Jackson, who has been a logger for 20 years, noted on the Senate floor that out of the 77,000 acres in Allagash, 72,000 of those acres are in designated tree growth areas.

Sen. John Patrick of Rumford also spoke in favor of the bill saying, “The ‘open for business’ sign that the Governor put up should now read, ‘open for business for Canadian workers. We need to start protecting Maine workers.”

For every million “board feet,” a measurement of lumber volume, that is exported to Canada, 13.7 full time, high paying jobs are lost to Maine workers. It is estimated that between 350 and 500 million “board feet,” is exported to Canada at the St. Pamphile, Quebec point of entry. A conservative estimate of jobs lost annually is between 4,795 and 6,850 jobs.

“It is our tax money. Why can’t we have a say?” said Sen. Jackson. “We are allowing a resource here in Maine to be cut and hauled by people other than Maine workers and then to give landowners a tax break for doing so is mind-boggling.”

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