BY EDWARD D. MURPHY

The Portland Press Herald

Maine State Treasurer Bruce Poliquin said he didn’t report income from his Popham Beach Club on his state income disclosure forms because the club didn’t make any money, but he also filed an amended report Friday that includes the business.

Poliquin, responding to an ethics complaint filed by the Maine Democratic Party, also added items to the disclosure form, including information about his son’s earnings from an internship and his involvement in a real estate investment partnership form, that were not in the original document.

Poliquin said that since he didn’t make any money off the beach club, he didn’t believe he needed to list it on the disclosure form, which asks for sources of income of $1,000 or more. Poliquin said he made $9,750 from membership dues to the beach club, but expenses exceeded that amount.

Poliquin did not respond to an email request from The Portland Press Herald for more information, including the total amount of the expenses and the type of expenses incurred.

He said he overlooked his son’s income from a 10-week summer internship when he left blank the section on sources of income for immediate family members and “did not recall” a partnership in a real estate investment that netted him about $13,000 in non-cash income in 2010 when he filled out the original form.

Poliquin also did not respond to an email asking for more information about the non-cash income.

The Democratic Party filed a complaint with the state Commission on Governmental Ethics and Election Practices last month, saying Poliquin failed to disclose several income sources.

Party officials were not immediately available Friday night to respond to Poliquin’s filing.

The commission is scheduled to take up the complaint against Poliquin on Feb. 29. In his letter, Poliquin said he would attend that hearing.

The ethics complaint is just one of the issues that have been raised about Poliquin’s private businesses.

He also faces potential scrutiny from the state attorney general, after state Rep. Mark Dion, D-Portland, asked for an opinion on whether Poliquin’s beach club business violates a constitutional provision that says the treasurer shouldn’t engage in private business while in office.

And Maine’s Majority this week questioned Poliquin’s use of the Maine Tree Growth Tax program to lower his property taxes on land he owns in Georgetown.

Because of the tax break for tree production, the assessment on the 10-acre parcel was cut from $1.8 million to $725,500. Maine’s Majority said a Maine Forest Service report concluded that the land was eligible for the program, although the ability to harvest any timber on the property “is extremely limited” because of access problems and limits on harvesting under the state’s shoreland zoning regulations.

Poliquin has not responded to Maine Majority’s complaints.


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