AUGUSTA — Bath Iron Works is fighting to preserve a 20-year-old tax credit program that is worth tens of millions of dollars and set to end this year.

Democratic Rep. Jennifer DeChant is sponsoring a bill to extend such benefits for another two decades. The Shipbuilders Tax Credit was created specifically to encourage Bath Iron Works to make significant hires and investments.

Her bill is set for a Monday public hearing.

To be eligible, a shipbuilding facility would have to spend at least $100 million after Jan. 2018 on construction, modernization or expansion. The legislation as proposed would allow a shipbuilding facility an annual income tax credit worth three percent of its investment.

The facility must also maintain at least 5,000 employees and could get additional credit for employing more.

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