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Business Equipment Tax Exemption Program
The Business Equipment Tax Exemption program eliminates the personal property tax on eligible business equipment that is first subject to assessment on or after April 1, 2007. (This program has largely replaced the Business Equipment Tax Reimbursement Program and helps businesses avoid paying assessed taxes up front, rather than waiting and filing for a reimbursement, with no time limit to the exemption.) Read more about the Business Equipment Tax Exemption Program.

Employee Tax Increment Financing
For-profit, non-retail, non-utility businesses that add a minimum of five new quality jobs within a two-year period can get a refund of 80% of income taxes withheld for employees for up to 10 years. Read more about Employee Tax Increment Financing.

Historic Preservation Tax Credit
The State of Maine offers a 25% tax credit that can piggyback onto the 20% federal tax credit of certified rehabilitation expenses for a certified historic income-producing property. A 30% tax credit is available for projects where there is at least 50% housing, with at least 50% of that being designated as affordable housing. There is also a small investor program for projects with qualified rehabilitation expenditures of between $50,000 and $250,000 for properties that are not considered historic register-eligible. Read more about the Historic Preservation Tax Credit.

Maine Seed Capital Tax Credit
This tax credit is for for businesses that are a manufacturer, provide goods or services with 60% of sales derived from outside the state or to out-of-state residents, develop or apply advanced technologies, or bring significant permanent capital into the state. The Finance Authority of Maine may authorize state income tax credits to investors for up to 60% of the cash equity they provide. Investments may be used for fixed assets, research, or working capital. Read more about the Maine Seed Capital Tax Credit.

Pine Tree Development Zones
This program is for businesses in targeted industries (biotechnology, aquaculture and marine technology, composite materials technology, environmental technology, advanced technologies for forestry and agriculture, manufacturing (including precision manufacturing), information technology, and financial services). New or expanding Maine businesses, or out-of-state businesses relocating or establishing a presence in Maine, can get a refund of 80% of income taxes withheld for qualified employees for up to 10 years, a refund 100% of corporate income taxes for years one to five and 50% for years six to 10, a 100% sales and use tax exemption for construction materials and equipment purchases, a 100% sales and use tax reimbursement on real property purchases, and reduced rates on electricity delivery. Read more about Pine Tree Development Zones.

Tax Increment Financing 
The City of Belfast currently utilizes the tax increment financing program.  Tax increment financing is a flexible finance tool used my municipalities and other units of government to leverage new real and/or personal property taxes (the increment) generated by a specific project or projects within a defined geographic district, allowing them to shelter a new development's value in regards to state, county, and school district funding formulas.  Any portion of these new additional taxes may be used to finance public projects (identified in a development program) for a defined period of time of up to 30 years.  The City of Belfast also has the ability to establish agreements (known as credit enhancement agreements) where the new additional taxes can be refunded to the private party that created the new additional taxes.  (The City of Belfast has not established any credit enhancement agreements.)  The City of Belfast currently has two tax increment financing districts:

1) Northport Avenue Omnibus Municipal Tax Increment Financing District

Types and percentages of taxes captured: 100% of real property and 100% of personal property
Original taxable assessed value of district (April 1st, 2004): $10,126,400
Current size of district: 98.58 acres
Date of original designation: January 31st, 2006 
Date of approval of first amendment: March 24th, 2014
Current date of expiration: January 30th, 2026

Documentation:
Development Program
First Amendment Submission
Letter of Approval of First Amendment
Map of District

2) Downtown Waterfront Omnibus Municipal Tax Increment Financing District 

Types and percentages of taxes captured: 100% of real property and 100% of personal property
Original taxable assessed value of district (April 1st, 2005): $47,407,280
Current size of district: 197.50 acres
Date of original designation: March 20th, 2007 
Date of approval of first amendment: April 16th, 2014
Current date of expiration: March 19th, 2032
(This tax increment financing district is unique in that it can also use revenues from other City of Belfast tax increment financing districts, such as the Northport Avenue Omnibus Municipal Tax Increment Financing District, to fund projects.)

Documentation:
Development Program
First Amendment Submission
Letter of Approval of First Amendment
Map of District


Other information regarding tax increment financing:

City of Belfast Tax Increment Financing Policy

Maine Department of Economic and Community Development
Tax Increment Financing Rules (19-100 C.M.R. ch. 1, §§ 1-7)
Tax Increment Financing Statute (30-A M.R.S. §§ 5221-5235)