The communities hit hardest by a changing economy are looking to new opportunities —opportunities that have the potential to help us turn the corner and rebuild a more robust forest products industry. Among these opportunities, bio-based products made from Maine wood stands out as good for our economy, for rural communities, for the environment and for public health. By incentivizing manufacturers to use bio-based products, Maine can lead the way in capping the use of petroleum-based products and instead promote sustainable forestry practices.
LD 1698, which received support in the House and Senate and now awaits Governor Mills' signature, incentivizes investment in bio-based manufacturing by replenishing an existing tax credit for bio-fuel production and creating a new tax credit for manufacturing renewable chemicals from renewable biomass. Similar state-level legislation has been passed by Iowa and Minnesota and is under consideration in Nebraska. The new tax credit, as proposed in this bill, equals seven cents per pound of renewable chemicals produced in the state. That would increase to nine or as much as 12 cents per pound if the producer meets certain criteria, including employing American workers and master loggers.