AUGUSTA — Lawmakers in the Maine House of Representatives voted down a proposal Monday for a tax credit of up to $2 million that could help the Portland Sea Dogs pay for upgrades to the baseball team’s facilities at Hadlock Field.

The proposal, L.D. 2258, was rejected 62-78. It was approved by the Senate in an initial vote of 20-13 last week, which means it will be considered by the Senate again in a second vote and could come back to the House if the Senate insists on passage.

The bill, sponsored by Senate President Troy Jackson, D-Allagash, would provide an income tax credit worth 20% of a qualified investment in a professional baseball facility in Maine – up to $133,000 per year and $2 million total over a 15-year period.

It comes as the Sea Dogs’ owner, Diamond Baseball Holdings, looks to make $8 million to $10 million in upgrades needed to bring Hadlock Field in line with Major League Baseball’s requirements for its minor league affiliates. The Sea Dogs are the Double-A affiliate of the Boston Red Sox.

Hadlock Field is owned by the City of Portland and, in addition to being leased by the team, is also used for high school baseball games and other events. Opponents of the bill highlighted the city’s ownership Monday and said state tax dollars would be better spent elsewhere.

“We have to go back to the fact Hadlock Field is owned by city of Portland,” said Rep. Shelley Rudnicki, R-Fairfield. “If the city of Portland wants to do this, let them do it and not the taxpayers in my district who may have never gone to a Sea Dogs game.”


The bill has a fiscal note of $159,350 for the 2025-26 fiscal year and would need to be approved for funding prior to final approval from lawmakers. Rep. Ambureen Rana, D-Bangor, said the state has more pressing needs, including affordable housing, mental health and substance use treatment.

“We all love the Sea Dogs,” Rana said. “That’s not what this bill is about. It’s about how best to use taxpayer dollars.”

Rep. Joe Perry, D-Bangor, spoke in support of the bill, saying it’s a good investment and could help keep the team in Maine. “This amounts to 10 cents per Mainer per year over 15 years to help with the upgrades to this stadium,” Perry said.

Lawmakers on the Taxation Committee heard overwhelming support for the proposal at a public hearing in March, though the Mills’ administration said it neither supports nor opposes the bill.

Michael Allen, associate commissioner for tax policy in the Department of Administrative and Financial Services, noted several technical concerns with the bill and said it would also require $33,000 in one-time computer programming costs to add an additional line to income tax returns to accommodate the new tax credit.

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