Passing the buck - tax breaks don't prevent layoffs

Wausau Paper company announced earlier today that it is laying off 40 workers at its Jay mill. Chalk it up as another success of Maine's corporate-tax break system, which we profiled in Lance Tapley's story "Tax Break Heaven," back in February.

Specifically, Wausau got a $593,942 refund of its business-equipment property taxes in fiscal 2007. Back in 2004, the company got $163,710 "double-dip," meaning a "reimbursement" from the state for local property taxes the company never actually paid. (2004 is the most recent year for which double-dip numbers are available.)

Too bad all those handouts from the state - which state officials and business lobbyists say are needed to keep Mainers working - couldn't keep 40 people employed. Who's next?

-Thanks to contributing writer Lance Tapley for being quick on the numbers.
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