Contact: David Munson at (207) 581-3777; Todd Gabe at (207) 581-3307
Please note: The full study is available on-line at: www.umaine.edu/mcsc/
ORONO — Researchers from the University of Maine’s Department of Resource Economics and Policy and the Margaret Chase Smith Center for Public Policy have released their findings regarding the projected fiscal and economic impacts of a proposed $400 million liquefied natural gas (LNG) facility in Washington County. Downeast LNG hopes to build the LNG import terminal in the town of Robbinston.
UMaine researchers Todd Gabe, Jonathan Rubin, Charles Morris, and Lisa Bragg were contracted by Downeast LNG to conduct the study, which focuses on both the long and short-term effects of the proposed facility, considering such factors as employment, wages, and tax impacts at both the state and local levels. The study was conducted during the late summer and fall of this year.
The study found that the proposed project would substantially increase the local tax base, lowering current tax rates for the Town of Robbinston by approximately 69 percent. According to Gabe, an Associate Professor of Resource Economics and Policy, the projected decrease in taxes takes into account not only the proposed facility’s contribution to the town’s tax base, but the increases in county taxes and reductions in state education contributions that would affect the town as well.
“During the three year construction phase, the project would create 1,053 jobs per year statewide according to our model. These jobs would provide $42.9 million annually in wages and benefits,” said Gabe. “Of that, there would be approximately 375 jobs in Washington County, which would result in $15.3 million per year in income.”
After the construction phase is completed, the study determined that operations of the facility would create 253 jobs statewide, amounting to $10.7 million per year in wages and benefits. A projected 187 of those jobs would be in Washington County.