Wednesday May 18, 2011 | 06:02 PM

Extending a federal tax credit for investments made in low-income rural and urban communities will help keep billions of private dollars flowing to projects like those being done at the Gulf of Maine Research Institute, says Sen. Olympia Snowe.
The Maine Republican has co-authored, along with Democratic Sen. Jay Rockefeller of West Virginia, an extension of the “New Markets Tax Credit,” a 39 percent tax credit for investments made in so-called Community Development Entities involved in financing businesses and economic development projects, set to expire at the end of the year.
“The program raised $5 billion worth of private capital in 2010 alone, incentivizing development in low-income areas and bringing critical health care, grocery and manufacturing resources and facilities to significantly underserved areas,” Snowe said.

"I am pleased to see one of the most active participants in this program is Maine's own Coastal Enterprises," Snowe said in a statement. "From investments in state-based initiatives at the Gulf of Maine Research Institute or the Appalachian Mountain Club, Coastal Enterprises and others have facilitated innovation and job creation throughout the state of Maine with the help of this valuable program."
Coastal Enterprises, founded in 1977 and based in Wiscasset, says that it is an “expert in rural business development and financing.” The company was founded to “develop “job-creating natural resources and small business ventures in rural regions of Maine, and has grown to serve all of Maine, its primary market, and areas of northern New England and upstate New York,” according to Coastal Enterprise’s web site.

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Kevin Miller is Washington bureau chief for the Portland Press Herald and MaineToday Media. He has worked as a journalist in Maine for 6 ½ years, covering the environment, politics and the State House. Before arriving in Maine, he wrote about politics, government and education for newspapers in Virginia and Maryland.
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