I disagree with the prevailing sentiment against the Pine Tree Development Zone Program.

Targeted benefits to export-based businesses is sound public policy, when compared to the alternative: across-the-board tax cuts that create a macro-economic inefficiency and greater decreases in public savings. Thus we should not view the Pine Tree Zone program dismissively.

The net effect of this program, on economic growth, is the sum of the generally positive effects created by more favorable economic incentives and the (negative) effects created by the increase in the state’s deficit. Are the benefits greater than the drag created by the increased deficit?

Cost-benefit studies show that over 70 percent of the benefits of job growth are the resulting increase in per capita earnings. Have the job counts in our PTZ-certified businesses and their positive impact on per-capita income growth been greater than our public deficits?

With the proper modeling, this should be easy to determine as well as the economic and fiscal multipliers which this increase in earnings and savings offers the macro-economy.

I am disappointed that OPEGA did not conduct this analysis.

I question the reasons “for” why this program was created and the standards it expected more than its existence.

Brad Jackson

Mt. Vernon