FARMINGDALE — A resident has suggested to selectmen that local people should put together information about a tax break for the proposed natural gas line.

Voters then would better understand the full implications of the outcome — and in plain language — before they go to the polls next month, said the resident, Eugene Moreau.

Moreau, who served as selectmen and in other town government jobs throughout the years, said at a selectmen’s meeting Wednesday night that it’s important to clarify what would happen if the tax break is approved or not approved at the June 22 referendum vote.

“I’m concerned about some information I heard last night and the way I heard it,” Moreau said, referring to a public presentation held Tuesday on the tax break. Representatives from the state Department of Economic and Community Development and Maine Revenues Services, as well as a principal of Kennebec Valley Gas Co., each gave presentations on the proposal.

Moreau said residents need to realize that the high-pressure natural gas line could still go through town even if voters reject the tax break, called a TIF; and if it does, the town will not be able to shelter the income it receives from the project.

The packet of information about the tax break, prepared by Pierce Atwood of Portland, Moreau said, contains complex language and might be difficult for many people to understand in preparation for the vote.

Moreau, who attended Tuesday’s public hearing, said he found some of plan details confusing.

Selectmen suggested that Moreau and other residents who know about the project go ahead put together an informational packet that would clarify what approval or disapproval of the TIF would mean.

Mike Rogers, supervisor of municipal services at Maine Revenue, told selectmen at the public hearing that he would put together a spread sheet of tax valuation implications with or without the TIF in the next two weeks.

The Portland-based gas company is proposing a natural gas line from Richmond to Madison and is requesting tax increment financing deals from the 12 communities affected by the project. Cities and towns in the proposed gas line corridor are being asked to return 80 percent of property taxes to the company the first 10 years and 60 percent the next five years for the $80 million-$85 million project.

Selectmen plan to hold more informational meetings on the topic before then.


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