July 20, 2018
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Comments for: State Treasurer Poliquin under fire for possible misuse of tax abatement program

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  • Anonymous

    WELFARE FRAUD !!

    • Anonymous

      Not paying higher taxes is not taking “welfare”.  Enrolling in the tree growth current-use program in accordance with a forest management plan is not “fraud”.

      • Anonymous

        I fail to see the difference between the sham that  Poliquin pulled to shave a million off his property taxes and someone selling food stamps. The are both wrong and a terrible waste of taxpayer dollars. The rich have a welfare system we just put a different name on it.  

  • Anonymous

    There are many many tree farms on the coast of Maine Mr. Secretary. All one needs to do is drive up beautiful Route One and just count all the tree farms hiding behind mansions. You stick to your guns. Maybe you should try homesteading your house in  Florida too. I can give you the number of an expert. His home is in Florida, but he lives here. Or is it the other way around, I forget.

  • Anonymous

    What an absolute surprise to find that not all fraud originates from the poor and the unemployed.

    Maybe, if Poliquin and his buddies paid up, we wouldn’t have to choose between closing our schools and throwing the sick and the old out on the street.

    • StillRelaxin

      My God! To think that THIS poor excuse for a man is the primary source of conservative’s information for attacking Dale McCormick’s (Or anyone else’s) integrity as a honorable servant to Maine Citizen’s! Absolutely disgusting!!! Whatever Dale’s failings may be they pale in comparison to what this slimeball has succeeded and attempted to perpetuate against the citizens and taxpayers of Maine with his outright dishonesty. Time for Bruce to get the BOOT! Surely Mr. LePage will utilize his own superior ethical standards to take care of this embarrassment quickly…or not.

      • Anonymous

        Wow, really amp’d up the  false indignation on this one. Read  the article again and get back to us.

        • Anonymous

          What do you mean?  This is an awful abuse of a state program.  Does anyone think he has any intention of harvesting any trees?  No.  This stinks.  He should either pay the back taxes or harvest the trees.

          • Anonymous

            Let us review the high standard of Republican office holders:
             
            Speaker of the House Bob Nutting receives $1.6 million in Medicaid (welfare) overpayments and refuses to pay it back.
             
            LePage Aide Dimeritt fails to pay sales taxes his business collected from customers (resigns in disgrace)
             
            DEP Commissioner Brown is appointed illegally and resigns when feds start looking into his business’ books.
             
            Economic Development expert and Commissioner Congdon is fired after he publicly blames Aroostook County for its lack of economic development.
             
            Marine Resources Commissioner Olsen resigns in snit with Boss LePage.
             
            Treasurer Poliquin violates the Maine constitution by engaging in business while in office and defrauds taxpayers of thousands by claiming the trees around his Georgetown mansion are a pulpwood harvesting operation.
             
            Let’s not even get into the many national embarrassments Mr. LePage has personally put us through.

          • Anonymous

            Well said. Can’t wait to see the defense.

          • Mary Stubbs

            He hasn’t broken any laws, only used the laws that were available.  If those laws aren’t compatible, it isn’t his fault. Just another example of over regulation….

          • Anonymous

            It is not a regulation issue.  As for breaking laws: well maybe.  The question is does he have any intention of harvesting wood?  The answer is no, so he has abused and possibly broken the law.  Certainly the intent.

          • Mary Stubbs

            Good points.  Now would you like to report on the Obama administration?  We can start with Tim Geither, Charlie Rangle, Barney Frank, Chris Dodd, Nancy Pelosi…..

          • Anonymous

            Of all the names you write, only Geitner is a member of the Obama admin. Sorry for your confusion, but I see it doesn’t stop you from writing anyways.

          • Mary Stubbs

            Thank for you reading and commenting. You’re correct. I was starting with Geithner as part of the administration, and adding other liberals to the list. I’m glad to clarified for those who might not know the difference.

          • Anonymous

            It is not an abuse of the program.  He does not have to harvest the trees; what he must do is specified in his forestry management plan across the time scale specified there.  The tree growth program requirements for forest management are flexible enough to allow for many options with different kinds of commercial value over time.  The state should not be telling people to clear cut their land in order to be assessed as ‘current use’ undeveloped with trees.

          • Anonymous

            It is an abuse if he has no intention of actually doing anything.  It’s highly likely that lot has been landscaped and cleaned of poor quality trees or trees blocking views.  This is after all a lot with a million ($3M) view.  Does anyone think he or former owners have not already cleaned the lot?

            So let’s see him harvest the trees.  They’ll grow back in 40 years.  Anyone think he’ll actually or ever harvest the wood?  No.

    • Anonymous

       Yes, because the 5 grand per year in question would  solve all of our woes.

      • Anonymous

        How many other ROBthePUBLICan scumbags have $5,000 thefts??? I mean, besides ROBert Nutting’s $1.25 million theft. But that’s ok…thieves are hard to spot with partisan blinders on.

        • Anonymous

           Not hard to spot at all, if you take the blinders off.Start with the Maine green energy alliance or Maine Housing Authority. Lets start at the beginning .
           Do you want to know why we are reading this “story” today? Let’s hop into the WayBack machine  and go to April of last year when this was reported.   ”    State Treasurer Bruce Poliquin asked why, during a business junket
          to New York, Lenna found it necessary to treat himself and three
          colleagues to a $4,000 in dinners at two fancy restaurants. (The
          foursome also spent $4,000 for posh hotel accommodations.)
          Poliquin wondered why Lenna could not conduct his business — closing
          on $80 million the state was borrowing on behalf of 29 communities —
          in a teleconference from the bond bank’s office in Augusta. Lunch could
          have been takeout from the Wendy’s located just down the street. Lenna’s retort was classic elitist: “I don’t eat at Wendy’s…I resent the implication that I am somehow wasting money.”  This was Robert Lenna, executive director of the Maine Municipal Bond Bank. This is when Bruce started uncovering waste and corruption at the higher levels of the  Maine  Liberal Political  machine. This ,my friend , is why we are reading this “story” today.

        • poormaniac

          Millinockets dems stole 1.5 million to build a swimming pool in an area surrounded by thousands of acres of lakes !  So what’s new !

      • StillRelaxin

        Oh yes folks, it looks like the most you can say is that Mr. Poliquin (Your STATE TREASURER no less!!!) tried to get away with ripping you off with a measely five grand.  Nothing to see here…just move along.  The GOP/Tea Party faithful has lots of other things to distract you with as well as people to blame.  Sleep tight and love the government you have, or wake up and replace it next November.

        • Anonymous

           Yes, why don’t we change back to the Government we had, that worked out  swell.
            In the meantime  we will send out our piised off liberal lackeys to dig into every aspect of our foe’s lives. Will will work to distract from the real and delve into the surreal.  We will dig up,drum up, conjure up or just plan make up  indignation’s and Headlines. We will delay,distract,deflect or deny.Whatever it takes to tie things up until the next election. We will hope that  the electorates memories are  short and attention’s have been distracted  so we can sneak back into power  a bury what is being discovered. And then, every thing will be fine.
          “Sleep tight and love the government you have, or WAKE UP and replace it next November.” That would mean something if you were not just a lonely shill for the  Liberal Status Quo.If you didnt constantly spew  the party line  we might take you as something other than a  spammer. If.

          • StillRelaxin

            Wow! That’s a lot of words just to deflect (As you folks so often do under these circumstances) away from Bruce’s ethical lapses with nastiness towards other commenters. Is this story about StillRelaxin? Nope. Did StillRelaxin try to commit a 5K fraud against Maine citizens? Nope. Is StillRelaxin a representative of your state entrusted with bringing honor to his/her position and to the public he/she serves? Nope. Please try to stick to the subject at hand if you want your comments to stay here.  Mr. Poliquin attempted to abuse a state program in order to pay lower taxes (i.e. He’s a Tax Cheat).  Find a way to defend that without looking “silly” and you might encourage other people to follow your own special brand of “Party Line.”  Good luck with that!

          • Anonymous

            You and your constant post are the only things that look silly here on this board.The arbiter of all things good and true,pandering to the Liberal flock. You mock and bully any who dare  post a contrary view on “your”  strings.If your  criticisms and enlightened views  were ever directed any any other than Conservatives they might be worth consideration, but no. 
             As for defending Mr Poliquin,there is no need. The article clearly shows this is  a witch hunt.”” The fact that some or all of the parcel is regulated by the town’s
            shoreland zoning ordinance has no bearing on its eligibility.” But, it
            said “MFS cannot divine landowner’s intent or interests from this
            report.” and “McDonald, assistant to the Georgetown selectmen, said forest management
            plans associated with properties in the tree growth program need to be
            updated every 10 years, which means selectmen will re-examine Poliquin’s
            in 2014. She said there has been no reaction at the local level to this
            week’s reports about Poliquin’s property, although she said selectmen
            meet again on Feb. 16.”
             This is only a story for those looking to make one appear. Go find some thing real to talk about and then some of us might listen to you. Good luck,with that.

          • StillRelaxin

            Oh so it’s my posting that troubles you the most. I bet conservatives like you would like to pass a bill to prevent people who are more honest than you from being able to speak in public. What a sad group of people.

            You seem to have no problem with your politicians abusing a well intended program to promote tree growth on his “MASSIVE” ten acre lot. Clearly he was simply using this program to save money on his taxes (i.e. Not pay his fair share) like his fellow citizens. Yep that’s your kind of guy.

            The rest of us will vote our own consciences on matters like this next November.

          • Anonymous

             Your vote has  already been bought and paid for, this “story”  affects that in NO way.

    • Guest

      How it it fraud??? thousands of Mainers are in the treegrowth Program..

      • Anonymous

        According to the Maine Forest Service, to qualify for the Tree Growth Program, a property must be maintained, as
        its primary objective, for the growth of trees for commercial use.

        The intent of the program is to provide landowners with an incentive to keep land in timber production.   I’d say Poliquin’s primary objective was to get out of paying his fair share of taxes.  Legal or not, Poliquin’s use of this loophole would be irritating if done by a private citizen.  Done by a prominent state official who serves as a steward of the state’s financial resources, it is reprehensible. 

        You want this guy in charge of your money?

        • Anonymous

          Nope.

        • Anonymous

          Thousands of private citizens are in the program to keep their taxes down.  That does not mean that any of them are not complying with the law as it as been understood for decades.  It is not a “loophole” and there is no “fair share” of taxes requiring that anyone pay more than he is forced to.

        • Anonymous

          Would you rather the people who designed a law with a gaping loophole in it to be in charge of your money?

      • StillRelaxin

        You seem to be confusing Mr. Poliquin with citizens in the Treegrowth Program that abide by the rules of the program as well as the tax code by honestly PAYING their due taxes.

        • Anonymous

          What evidence do you have that he hasn’t paid the taxes he owes under the program like others do? What evidence do you  have that he is not managing the land in accordance with a qualified forestry plan?

    • Anonymous

      SO WHAT! This is not a matter of him breaking the law. The Libs just don’t like the fact that he is benefitting from a law they wrote. Oh and here is a classic quote:
      “For several reasons, including difficulty of road access and the restrictions on timber harvesting according to the state’s shoreland zoning regulations, the ability to harvest any timber on this property — even if that was the interest of the landowner — is extremely limited,” the MMA said in the report.
      So because of draconian shoreland zoning, he cant do anything with the property anyway. So, esentially the Libs are mad because he is getting a taxbreak on land under a law they wrote, on land he cant develop anyway because of rules they imposed.
      Thank GOD they are not in power in this state anymore.

      • Anonymous

        Here’s a link to some study results you’ll be interested in:

        http://news.yahoo.com/low-iq-conservative-beliefs-linked-prejudice-180403506.html

        • Anonymous

          I’d tell you what you can do with your link, but I have more class than you.

      • Anonymous

        Yes, he is taking advantage of a law he didn’t write, but the fact remains, he registered a parcel as a plot of land he uses to grow trees for harvest. Unlike the Gov. and his confusion about what state he lives in, this one is more clearcut, shall we say. And predictably, his defenders can offer no real rebuttal except that other people are crooks too, so leave him alone. Nice.

        It shows that you are not concerned that a rich man is gaming the system, only that your rich man got caught. Good standard to judge people on. Welfare cheats need to go to jail, but rich offenders who steal tousands are the victims of Democrats. So sad.

        • Anonymous

          There are repeated explanations here of what he is doing and why it is proper and legal.  No one has said to leave him alone because there are “other crooks too”.  He has not been “caught”, only attacked and smeared.  He has not “stolen thousands”.  Not paying higher taxes is not “stealing”.

          • Anonymous

            The replies of why he is doing it are like yours, ” it is legal”, but nobody has actually decided that who is empowered to decide that. On the surface, it appears the man is taking advantage of a program that clearly is not meant for folks with 10 acres on the ocean. It doesn’t pass the slime ball test, any more than the man who divorces his wife so she can get welfare does.

            Your second point is laughable, you write “No one has said to leave him alone because there are “other crooks too”. Just one post can prove my point, the one from menative who lists a bunch of Dems and says they are part of the Obama admin. and that they are all crooks. In fact, only one of the names (s)he lists is part of the current admin. There are other posts along the same line from your side, (rockymarshall, for instance) so don’t try to say nobody is saying to leave Mr. Poliquin alone because of infractions from Dems, the proof is in a lot of posts. Actually, many of the right wingers don’t even address the questions this article brings up. Most just rant about Libs doing stuff, try to shoot the messenger, or try to change the topic.

            So far as your writing that “He has not “stolen thousands”, that is also not correct. the law says that if you take advantage of a program not meant for you, you are stealing. Whether you file for homestead exemptions in other states while maintaining a residence in another state, or sign up for welfare when you are not eligible, you are stealing from the state. His exemption from paying 1000s of dollars in taxes means the money will come from somebody else. Avoiding taxes by hiding assets, lying about income or taking tax breaks you are not entitled to is stealing. The law calls it stealing, and should treat it as such.

      • Anonymous

        Looking sat that aerial photo, it looks like he can still get an awful lot of enjoyment out of that property.  Certainly more than I can on my in-town Bangor lot!

      • Anonymous

        Why would a licensed forester take commercial harvesting with a straight face as the best and likely use of trees on a luxury property worth $3 million, unless they are to be cut for a house lot (which would bring a 30% tax penalty)? Especially when a legal covenant prevented their cutting.

  • Anonymous

    Politics in its truest form.  I, for one, tire of paying taxes that benefit crooks such as Bruce Poliquin.  Shame on you Mr. Poliquin!

    • Anonymous

      Agreed!  And can you imagine how much of this goes on every day that we DON’T know about?  I can’t imagine.

  • Anonymous

         Another slime-ball from the goobernators pit of cronies and state “leaders”. 

  • Ya use your position for your own benefit. Sounds about right happens in almost every small town In this state. Tax assessor Give a serious under value to his family and over charges other to make up the difference I have seen it. Why are they not in Jail for this fraud. I can not mention the names or towns or I will be flagged.

    • Anonymous

      Whatever corruption in small towns you have witnessed, Poliquin is not using his “position” in the LePage administration for the tree growth plan.  He has been in it for years on the same terms as thousands of others. There is no evidence that his plan does not qualify for the program or that there is any “fraud”. No one is paying his taxes for him. He is paying over $13,000/year in property taxes. The portion of his land in tree growth does not cost the town anything for schools and other such ‘services’. The tree growth program is a current-use assessment program that assesses property values of land in tree growth as its value of the trees. Current-use assessment of land in tree growth under the program is not “fraud”.

      • Harold Grant In Hudson  appraised A friends house at over 300k worth about 160 His sons house worth about 300k appraised at Less than half. Haaaaaaa She over paid about $1000 a year for 5 years . Can I prove he did it unpurpose NO . Just give some people power and they will bend the rule for thier gain . No one is ever held accountable. To me it is leagalized stealing.  They get away with it all the time not her taxes were reduced . What about the over payments?  Just another way people in power steal from working people. 

      • No maybe not his position in the Lepage admin. The laws are written to give to the rich and steal from the working class . Getting a tax break for trees that can not be harvested? what a joke. So some working person has to pay more to make up the difference .

        • Anonymous

          Poliquin is “working class” — contrary to Marxist slogans he has worked very hard.  He has not “stolen” from anyone by not paying more than the exorbitant taxes he has already paid.  Neither is he is getting a tax break for trees that cannot be harvested.  His land is in under a forestry management plan that does in fact identify commercial value that can be sold under the restrictions on the land.  He is still paying over $13,000/year in property taxes.  If some other “working person” is paying escalating taxes it is because of the escalating spending, not because more hasn’t been taken from Bruce Poliquin.

  • Anonymous

    That glass house just lost a few panes.

  • Anonymous

    Ok,I’m going to say it,this is NOTHING more than FRAUD!!  He’s our State Treasurer! Pretty unbelievable,he pays  1.7 million for a property,but commits FRAUD to save 5,000 dollars and bilk the rest of the States taxpayers. Don’t we also have a Governor that claimed he wasn’t even a State resident? And now their both making allegations about MSHA’s ethics?? Makes one wonder if Poliquin is creating a distraction from his own lack of ethics. Lastly,before any one says anything,I am not defending MSHA! They definately have their problems too. But,to have a State Treasurer so blatantly commit FRAUD is unacceptable!

    • Anonymous

      Have you read all the documents and laws that govern it.  I also do not think he was intentionally trying to commit fraud over $5000, I assume he saw a way to use the current laws to save money on his taxes, that is what “rich” people do, that is why they are rich.

      • Anonymous

        You’ve read all the documents and laws and you have determined intent, which excuses anyone from breaking the law if they are becoming rich. Is that about it?

        • Anonymous

          He appears to be in compliance with the Law. The Legislature had the opportunity to change the Law in 2009 following the Forest Service’s Report and chose not to. If you don’t like the Law that over a thousand other Mainers are also using than change it.

          • Anonymous

            First, I have no power to change it (have you ever asked your legislator to do something for you?) and second, why would I want to change a law that makes the rich richer so they can pay less taxes than I do on Social Security?

          • Anonymous

            Changing the law is part of what this activist campaign is about.  They want higher taxes making it harder to own and hold private property as they soak the middle class and demagogue “the rich”.  The left has been trying for decades to use the tree growth tax classification to put more restrictions on private property owners, forcing them to give up their property rights in “exchange” for not being further devastated with higher taxes.  The “penalties” for getting out of the tree growth plan are already deadly.

      • Anonymous

        Well isnt the clever of him, how about doing the right thing and not taken advantage of our state , there is something to be said for ethical actions from a state treasurer !

        • Anonymous

          It is not unethical to not pay more taxes than you have to.

          • Anonymous

            Maybe not by state standards , but it is by my standards and there are other stipulations he had to meet to qualify for the tax break. That massive 12 acre plot has less than 10 acres of trees !

          • Anonymous

            If you are doing so by misusing a state program, then yes, it IS unethical.

          • Anonymous

            He is not misusing a state program.  It is intended to reduce the property taxes based on ‘current use’.  The left doesn’t want anyone who is wealthy, particularly conservatives, paying less taxes under any law.  That doesn’t make Poliquin “unethical”.

      • They where just useing the laws just dont fly when they run with the group that “makes” the laws!

        “””Thats “”how the Rich get Rich!

        Maybe he should also try to follow the laws that say that he has to give  up his buisness while he is Secretary of State.

        • Anonymous

          The tree growth law has been in place for some 40 years and applies to everyone, not just those who “run” with some group.

      • Anonymous

        Thousands of people, not necessarily “rich”, are in this current-use tax assessment program for good and honest reasons.  Why should anyone pay more property taxes than he has to if he can reasonably manage his woods in accordance with the long term requirements? It has nothing to do with fraud — people are constantly pressured with high taxes and do what they legally can to lower them.  The activists attacking Poliquin do not want people to understand the documents you mention; they have been engaged in a smear campaign against the LePage administration since before the election.

      • So you condone this theft as long as its a 1%er. I say he belongs in the same prayer group as Nutting. Theypray and hope there is no god cause she is going to kick their can down the road. How could anyone defend this action there are no trees on the dam lot. Defend that!!!!

      • Anonymous

        Wait a minute, he signed papers that committed him to keep 10 acres in woods to be cut, knowing that some of it could never be cut. Most of the rest is acting like a hedge from other residents, something one is not likely to harvest either. He got a $5000 tax cut for doing so. The man is not unversed in the law, but you think it was not intentional?

        I’ll assume that you will give the clowns who signed the Solyndra loans the same benefit of the doubt? Otherwise it will seem that you are like the rest of the party hacks on here, just defending any Republican because he is a Republican, and lord knows those people can’t be crooks.

        • Anonymous

          He did not “sign papers” saying he would “cut ten acres” and there is no such requirement in the tree growth plan.  Logging whole trees is one option, but even that need not be done all at once.  Successive thinning is perfectly acceptable.  You have not seen his forestry management plan and cannot say what he “signed papers” committing him to.

          • Anonymous

            First of all, have you seen the agreement? From what I can glean from the law, only land that will grow trees for use after you cut them is eligible. Not land that is used as a buffer, not land that protects the oceanfront, not land that we keep around the house as part of our “yard”.

            I did not say he needed to cut them all at once, but be real. Do you think you can get a logging outfit to drive out to the point he lives on and pick up 3 trees every year? A fantasy defense is just that, fantasy.

            You know, politicians of all stripes depend on people like you. They know that no matter what they do, there are people like yourself who will go to bat for them. As long as they have that (R) near the name, the lever will be pulled. If it quacks like a duck, and walks like a duck, it’s probable a duck, even if you say it is a dog.

      • Anonymous

        Just because other people misuse the program does not mean it is okay for him to do so as well.  And its certainly not OK for them to misuse it either.  As a leader of state government he is – and should be – held to a higher standard of integrity.  Its part of the job.

        • Anonymous

          Taking advantage of a current-use tax assessment program because you want to lower your taxes is not an abuse of the program.  There is nothing wrong with wanting lower taxes and there is no “higher standard” ethically requiring you to pay more taxes than you have to.   Unlike the previous administration, the current governor and other leaders, like Poliquin, recognize that lower taxes are good; that is a better standard for government officials, not a lower one.  Poliquin’s efforts to lower his own taxes in his personal life from the outrageous property taxes he is paying the town shows that he has integrity to act in accordance with his values rather than being morally intimidated by the phony morality of his detractors.  There is no lack of ethics or integrity in protecting yourself against high taxes.

    • Anonymous

       “The Maine Forest Service responded: “The fact that some or all of the
      parcel is regulated by the town’s shoreland zoning ordinance has no
      bearing on its eligibility.” But, it said “MFS cannot divine landowner’s
      intent or interests from this report.”

    • Anonymous

      What fraud has he been found guilty of?  Were any taxpayer dollars stolen or mismanaged?

    • Yes folks, they try to focus you on thinking its the welfare recipeants and voters while they rob you blind!

      Watch out they run in packs!

          November 2012 vote every single one of these Republicans that you can out and send them back to to what ever slime pit that they emerged from!

  • Anonymous

    Bruce Poliquin has been an excellent Maine State Treasurer, the best ever.  He has exposed many fraudulent activities involving the MTA and the MSHA, to name a few.  While Poliquin was exposing this corruption, the liberal special interest groups went into a panic.  And now, they’re trying to protect further fraudulent activities from being exposed by fabricating nonsensical controversies, in the hopes that Poliquin will step down, all in the hopes of stopping further corruption in other state agencies from being revealed. 

    As a taxpayer and lifelong Maine resident, I find this attack on Poliquin an OUTRAGE!  Perhaps the liberals could expel some of their negative energy attacking Dale McCormick’s mismanagement of state funds, instead of going after a state official because he is doing his job and a terrific one at that.

    • All I have to say.. takes one to know one… 

      So, you’re okay with Poliquin’s fraud, why?

      • Anonymous

        What “fraud”?

    • Anonymous

      So just overlook these other things because Poliquin is a Republican? Is that what you’re suggesting?

    • pbmann

      So you are not outraged by the fraud committed by Poliquin?

      • Anonymous

        I do not see that he was found guilty of fraud or that he has done anything wrong.  Lets just wait to see, and man am I sick of the jealousy that people have for successful people.

        • pbmann

          I am not the least bit jealous of successful people, I just believe they should play by the same rules as everyone else.

          • Anonymous

            The tree growth ‘current use’ assessment plan is used by thousands of people.  Poliquin’s legally limiting his property taxes are the same rules that apply to others.  The resentment being stirred up by this misleading article and the activists associated with it is very ugly.

          • Anonymous

            What part or parts of the article are as you say: misleading’?  Please share them with us!

          • Anonymous

            The article is written to promote an activist campaign smearing Poliquin for taking advantage of a tax program, used by thousands of people, to reduce property taxes (which, contrary to the left, is not a bad motive). 

            The accusations include no evidence that he has broken any law.  Instead, his ‘crime’ is presented with the tone of ‘rich person gets tax break’ somehow ‘depriving’ others of his wealth.   We are treated to such purple prose demagoguery as “taxpayers of Maine are going to shoulder Mr. Poliquin’s fair share of taxes for his oceanfront mansion” and “Bruce Poliquin doesn’t want to contribute his fair share”.

            This is done with the tone of a phony moral fervor obviously intended to fan envy and resentment against him and anyone else deemed to be ‘rich’ who qualifies for the current-use tax program.

            You don’t have to follow this issue very much to see that the articles on this subject are hit pieces collaborating with activists who want to stampede the public into changing the tree growth program in order to raise property taxes on ‘the rich’. 

            Even the brief mention at the end of the article on “speculations” that this is “retribution” for Poliquin’s criticism of a “top ranking Democrat” omits that his criticism has been of the corruption in a state agency he is trying to clean up, not a personal battle.

            The article reveals nothing about the contrast between this attack on Poliquin and the usual laudatory articles promoting land trusts and tax breaks for conservation easements (used almost exclusively by the wealthy).

            No legitimate news article would present such a one-sided account with an activist making distorted accusations, while leaving out explanation of how Poliquin and anyone else with 10 acres of forested land anywhere in the state is eligible for the program to reduce his property taxes regardless of where it is and how high his tax bill otherwise is, and that many people do this, and many people think that is a good idea because of entrenched discrimination against land owners and the exorbitant property taxes.  Poliquin is paying over $13,000/year and the town wants that to be over $18,000.

            The article is one in a trend since before the last election promoting manufactured scandals in a personal and political smear campaign by the out of power left.  We didn’t see anything remotely like this scope of attacks from BDN (and others) when Baldacci was governor.  The whole trend is transparent and was expected.

        • dadoje

          Neither has Dale McCormick been found guilty of faud.

          • jimbobhol

            Let’s wait and see.

    • Anonymous

      The higher the office, the higher the standard they should be held to. 

      Sorry but there is no way, shape, or fashion that Mr. Poliquin’s property as a tree farm passes the straight face test.  According to the Maine Forest Service, to qualify for the Tree Growth Program, a property must be maintained, as its primary objective, for the growth of trees for commercial use.  Other requirements include having a detailed management plan and harvesting the timber as specified by the plan.  (Think you’ll see a skidder on Mr. Poliquin’s peninsula anytime soon?)

      The simple truth is that Poliquin owes  his town and state thousands of dollars in back taxes, and until that it paid, neither he nor his boss have an ounce of legitimacy.

      • Republicans,

        They hate Taxes and Regulations,

         unless of course the Regulations lead to less Taxes for “Them”!!

        • Anonymous

          Just like Maines Majority who brought this issue up?  Why are they not collecting sales tax? Above the law?

        • Anonymous

          Regulations are supposed to be limits on the power of government under objective law for proper purposes, not an open-ended means for bureaucratic control over people.

          • Anonymous

            Who says? You? HA HA HA

          • Anonymous

            The country was founded on the principle of constitutionally limited government protecting the rights of the people, not ruling them for “redistribution” or anything else.

          • Anonymous

            Really!  So where is this written down?  In the Constitution or did it just come to you in a dream?

      • Anonymous

        There is nothing illegal about managing personal property for long term commercial sales, which does not require using skidders.  Forestry plans are also long term and do not require constant harvesting.  There is no evidence that he owes the town or the state thousands of dollars, only seething resentment from leftists who want their targets forced to pay more taxes.

    • Anonymous

      You’re more full of stuff than the Christmas goose!

      • Anonymous

        ”  You’re more full of stuff than the Christmas goose!” 
        Be that as it my, still you did not answer the question:  

        “So just overlook these other things because Poliquin is a Republican?

    • Maybe he should start exposing himself!

      Or would “”that”” be  an OUTRAGE!

  • Anonymous

    Perhaps the largest place for taking advantage of the system is right here.  In the folks attempting (and doing a lame job at best) to run it!

  • He should have transplanted some of his trees over to Popham where he was suppose to plant stuff…  it’s not that far by boat.

  • Anonymous

    The 1 % Frauds  against the 99% ers.

  • pbmann

    Typical Republican…. laws are meant to be obeyed by other people.

    • Anonymous

      There is no evidence that any law has been violated.  The obvious motive in the attack campaign is envy and resentment that someone is paying higher taxes.

      • Anonymous

        I doubt that most people envy him at all, i think its more like lets check him out and see if he really has met ALL the criteria for having discounted taxes and then we will know for sure that he deserves his tax break. I think we know the answer , but lets CHECK HIM OUT REAL WELL ! Because we know that we have no people in our state offices that would ever abuse a state law in any way ! Why so many people live their life in a state of Nativity when we should be living in a state of DONT TRUST THEM UNTIL THEY GIVE YOU A REASON TO ! This would keep them from trying to take advantage of the taxpayers up front instead of using taxpayers money to take them to court after the fact !

        • Anonymous

          His use of the tree growth current-use tax assessment program has nothing to do with his office as Treasurer.  It reduces his personal taxes from over $18,000/year to over $13,000/year.  Those in the tree growth program are “taking advantage” of taxpayers; they are taxpayers trying to reduce the horrendous burden the best they can.

  • Anonymous

    Let’s see, it’s called “tree growth” and what is he doing? Letting the trees grow… 

    Where in the Tree Growth law does it say that you actually have to harvest timber? (far as I can tell, it doesn’t)

    Regarding deed restrictions, the law states:
    Land, which would otherwise be included in this definition, shall not be excluded because of:…Deed restrictions, restrictive covenants or organizational charters that prevent commercial harvesting of trees or require a primary use of land other than commercial harvesting and that were effective prior to January 1, 1982

    • Anonymous

      It’s not that simple.  In order to qualify for the program, Poliquin had to apply and to agree to meet certain standards.  According to the Maine Forest Service, to qualify for the Tree Growth
      Program, a property must be maintained, AS ITS PRIMARY OBJECTIVE, for
      the growth of trees for commercial use.  Other requirements include
      having a detailed management plan and the harvesting the timber as
      specified by the plan.

      As stated in the article above, even if he wanted to harvest trees from his property, his deed would prevent him from doing any more than thinning.

      • Anonymous

        then why does the law specifically allow properties which have deed restrictions preventing commercial harvest? 

      • Anonymous

        Selling wood from thinning is commercial. There is no requirement to devastate the area.

        There has been no evidence whatsoever that he doesn’t have a legitimate forestry plan and that the trees are not being managed in accordance with long term requirements.

    • kcjonez

      He is required by law to draft a management plan with the oversight of a licensed forester. It would be interesting to see that plan.

      • Anonymous

        Maybe it would be. But, under the law, the plan is confidential. 

        • Anonymous

           Politics often trumps confidentiality laws.

  • Anonymous

    Here is Example #3 – Poliquin’s estate – from the Forest Service report:

    http://www.scribd.com/doc/80121405/Forest-Service-Report-2009-Example-3-Poliquin

    • kcjonez

      Good find Gerald.  
       

      He is required by law to have a management plan drafted with the oversight of a licensed forester. It would be interesting to see that plan.  

      • Anonymous

         Actually, Maine’s Majority pointed to the 2009 report. I simply took the two pages that are Example #3 from the appendix and made them into a much shorter pdf. Credit goes to the 61% folks, not me.

        • Anonymous

          And while I generally respect Gerald’s point of view, I’m surprised he still adheres to the sore losers of the 61% group.  All they’ve proved is that when a Democrat wins by a majority less than a pure majority it’s just fine, but when  Republican does the same thing it becomes a silly bumper sticker scanda and reflects very poorly on the Democratic Party.

        • Anonymous

          The report doesn’t reveal any wrong doing or any reason to expect Poliquin has done something wrong.  All we see is more resentment against “the rich” fanning envy in a drive to raise taxes again while smearing the LePage administration with one dishonestly manufactured scandal after another, constantly slinging mud in the hope that it sticks.

      • Anonymous

        All landowner management plans are confidential.  This program has been run this way for decades.  The last thing we need is more state intrusion.  The tree growth program is a “current use” tax assessment program that does not rationally require more punitive actions from the state.

  • StillRelaxin

    Ok now there’s no doubt about it, for the sake of Maine Mr. Poliquin needs to be fired. The taxpayers of Maine simply cannot afford to keep paying for “RichGuy” FRAUD!!! Paul do your duty and replace this crook with someone who doesn’t have a scandal around every corner and behind every tree.

    • jimbobhol
    • Anonymous

      This is not a fraud or a scandal.  It is a smear campaign in the guise of “news” that is intended to mislead people on behalf of radical activists who resent being out of power.

      • Anonymous

        It is fraud. 

        He has no intention of clearing his waterfront property.  The “fence” of trees will stay to keep people from seeing his and sharing his view. 

        If it’s not fraud, then let’s see him clear the lot.  The trees will grow back in 30 or 40 years.  What’s the problem?

        • Anonymous

          There is no “fraud”.  Forestry management does not require “clearing the lot”.  Thinning and long term regeneration in different stages are practical approaches.  The tree growth program does not even require logging the trees — there are many kinds of ‘commercial’ activities listed, including tipping for wreathes (if you have the right kinds of trees). 

          State imposed regulations do allow clearing the trees along the shore. Many property owners would like to selectively cut trees for their own view and aren’t allowed to.

  • Anonymous

    Well, a lot of the rich are greedy, no secret there.  I guess he’s one of those.

    • Anonymous

      Avoiding having someone take your money is not “greed”.  Most people do not like high taxes for good reason. He has chosen to manage his land in such a way as to legally avoiding more than he has to, there is nothing wrong with that.

  • Guest

    ….

    • Anonymous

      There is no such thing as “his share” requiring him to sacrifice more than he has to.  Thousands of people are in the tree growth “current use” assessment plan.  He is not an exception doing something wrong.

      • Guest

        ….

        • Anonymous

          You don’t have to be an expert to reject a politics demanding that you sacrifice to the collective under a phony premise that you have a moral duty to do so under bromides about “your share”.

          As for the tree growth program, you don’t need to be wealthy to use it.  Anyone with at least 10 acres in trees can get a relatively inexpensive forestry plan and apply to the program.  Thousands of ordinary people are doing this without being “experts”.  But beware of the enormous penalties if you want out later, and the political threat of more controls and bureaucracy sought by the activists for a program you can’t get out of.

  • Anonymous

    Can I put my one acre in tree growth.  Trees are going on it.  Look who’s calling the Kettle black now.

    • Anonymous

      I only have 2 trees!!! Can I cut them both down as long as I plant two more and get my taxes reduced????? Is this the pot calling the kettle black or what? Don’t you just love the Poliquin/Nutting team. When’s the governor’ fraud squad going to start investigating them!!

    • Anonymous

       In order to be eligible, the application must be for an area of ten acres or larger.

    • Anonymous

      Your union donations help elect the people who established this program and were tasked as legislators in overseeing the program to see if it was doing what it was supposed to be doing.  You support  the same ones that gave you furlough days, no step increases, no longevity pay etc while their “tax reform” law would have by the third year given the top 1% a $34.5 million tax cut while the remaining 99% received a $3.5 million tax increase.  Of course Governor Baldacci was concerned.  He refused to sign the bill until skiing & golf were exempt from sales tax.  Meanwhile their “tax reform” was raising income tax on middle class taxpayers with high medical bills.  Hmmm….state workers, middle class people with itemized deductions or the wealthy, golfers and skiiers?  Guess we know which side the Democrats were on after taking your union money.  At least the union officers were able to get their raises from the money the Democrats allowed them to extract from the “fairshare” employees.  The same people you don’t allow to vote on the contract they now pay for unless they contribute to the union political funds.

  • Conley Raye

    Finally,getting this out to the people so they can see, what a mess there is in Augusta as well as in Congress. Everyone needs to be replaced and shed the ” careers”

  • Anonymous

    Lots of tax money being missed out on here.  Someone needs to aggressively investigate Quimby lands for TGT fraud as well, along with Haynes for doing liquidation harvesting before selling to her. It’s a travesty that it’s being allowed to happen, all in the name of greed and power.

  • Anonymous

    “trees may be thinned only for purposes of view, and the environment shall be completely protected at all times from the excessive cutting of trees.”

    Geez, I can apply this to my yard too… Hmmmm…. Maybe there is some back taxes and penalties due?

    • Anonymous

      No, you need at least 10 acres.  The restriction against “excessive cutting” does not disqualify him under the law, nor should it.  The threat of “back taxes and penalties” doesn’t come from anything Poliquin has been described as doing; it comes from the MRS mentality of reinterpreting the law to maximize their take and imposing it retroactively.

  • Anonymous

    Technically, he probably didn’t break the law.  However, it seems that he is using the tree/tax abatement program wrongly. He wouldn’t be able to cut on that property anyway, even if he wanted to, because of existing shoreline zoning laws.  Surely, he knew this.  The land is considered one of the most valuable residential properties in the state. 

    Why should it surprise anyone that a politician, regardless of ideology, is a thief.

    • jimbobhol

      Technically someone approved his tax exemption and then someone looking to smear him dug this up and gave it to BDN to print.    

      • Anonymous

        Someone did approve it, no question.  And I wouldn’t question the fact that someone dug this up to smear him.  However, whomever approved it, did so on the basis of information given to them.  The area the guy lives in is a residential area, not a a forestry area.  Personally, I couldn’t care less if he cut every tree on his lot down.  The issue is whether he used a law designed to encourage landowners who own timber property a tax break, based upon timber management practices, as a tax loophole to reduce the tax liability on his personal residence. 

        If that was his motive, then he is abusing the law, even though technically not breaking it.

        • jimbobhol
          • Anonymous

            I went to the link and read the report.  The issue is ‘intent’, which the Forest Service acknowledges, but also realizes that ‘intent’ or ‘motive’ is difficult to determine.

            The land apparently is useless anyway, because of existing zoning laws put in place by the town and state.  He couldn’t cut or develop the land.  So, if he couldn’t cut it anyway, why put it in a forest management program designed to encourage harvesting the trees in a sustainable manner?  He can’t cut any trees, or very few. That gets back to motive.

            Again, he didn’t break the law-the Forestry Report says that-but it seems to imply that he’s in the program for the wrong reason.

          • Anonymous

            The reason is to reduce the taxes in accordance with the ‘current use’ tree growth program, which thousands of others are doing.  Like the rest, he can keep his personal property for his own personal reasons as long as he manages it primarily for the requirements of the tree growth program. 

            The ‘crime’ he is being accused of is finding a way to reduce his taxes, as if that were an ethically improper motive.  It is not.  The activists behind and promoting this attack campaign don’t care about technicalities of forestry management plans; they are re-packing ethics to mean their own politics of envy and collectivist sacrifice, which it is not.  They are seething over the fact that someone who is “rich” qualifies for a current-use tax program.  They are trying to stamped the public into believing that ‘reform’ is required by raising property taxes on land owners.

        • jimbobhol

          The way I read the tax exemption “Was in consultation with the Forest Service ” So maybe it’s one of those rubber stamp type deals instead of following the intent of the exemption. I guess will see if he actually cuts any trees.

          • Anonymous

            He doesn’t have to cut trees in the short term, only manage the land in accordance with a forestry plan that will lead to viable sales in the future.  There will be many options for selling a product that does not, fortunately, require something like clear cutting the whole parcel.

        • Anonymous

          His residence is on less than two acres.  The other ten acres of trees in the tree growth program is not residential; it is undeveloped, and from the restrictions described probably could not be developed to any significant extent.  Thousands of small land owners manage their woods long term in accordance with the requirements without being an ongoing logging operation. There is nothing wrong with that and it is not an abuse of the law. 

          The law has been routinely interpreted this way for decades for thousands of property owners.  It assesses taxes based on current use rather than the highest financial use.  There is nothing wrong with that either, it avoids the crushing burden of senselessly high property taxes on at least one aspect of property ownership.  The abuse is in the punitive “penalties” for leaving the program and the constant threat of more restrictions tied to a program that one can’t get out of easily. 

          That, along with the personal attacks on people who threw them out of power, is what this smear campaign by the left is intended to do — they want higher taxes discriminating against property owners.  They are deliberately fanning envy and resentment of Polinquin in their usual fashion of destructive class warfare as they try to smear him for doing something unethical.  The intent is to package higher taxes in the guise of “reform”.

          • Anonymous

            You won’t get any argument from me about senselessly high property taxes.  I’m totally against them, and I certainly understand that coastal property values have been artificially inflated to draw in the ‘only the wealthy need apply types.’  And again, I don’t care what he does with his property.  He could level it, for all I care.  I also agree that this is a smear campaign. 

            The problem is that very often politicians put themselves in the position to be smeared.  Having your past dredged up goes with the territory, and if one wants the authority, prestige, and fame of high political life, then one needs to make sure that either he is squeaky clean, or willing to take the heat.  If this is on the up and up, fine.  I wouldn’t try him or judge him based upon one article in the BDN.  

            I also am not so loyal to an ideology that I refuse to see wrongdoing from those who may believe the way I do.  I’m not saying you do, either.  I do believe, though, that most of our politicians nowadays, whether Democrat, Republican, Independent, or Libertarian, are crooks and shills and are willing to say and do just about anything to get into, and maintain, their power.

          • Anonymous

            It’s impossible to not “put yourself” in a position of being smeared by the left.  You would have to avoid success, sacrifice your assets to paying higher taxes with humility, and spend your time apologizing for yourself and whatever you have left — all of which is exactly what they wants as they fan envy and resentment against private success.  They will smear and attack anyone who threatens their power.  

            If out of being morally intimidated you concede their ugly premises attempting to re-package ethics as meaning their politics of envy and sacrificial collectivism, then you are helping them.  

            Note this emphasis in the article: “’Over the years, the people of Georgetown have lost out on tens of
            thousands of dollars that could have been used to pay for roads, bridges
            and schools. All this because Bruce Poliquin doesn’t want to contribute
            his fair share,’ said Chris Korzen of Maine’s Majority”.  How could anyone have “lost out over the years” by not taking “tens of thousands of dollars” from someone who is paying over $13,000 a year in property taxes and who maintains 10 acres of woods that costs the town nothing in services?

            Poliquin has not been shown to have done anything wrong in entering the
            tree growth ‘current use’ tax assessment program; it’s his success that
            they are after with such seething hatred — together with his position in state government as they try to
            hound him out of office because it threatens their own power and
            corruption.  This illustrates why so many good people, in business or otherwise,
            refuse to go into politics, only to be smeared by the left as being “welfare cheats getting rich” as they take a pay cut to serve in public office.

            LePage, Poliquin, et al, don’t need this grief.  If they were concerned with “prestige”, “fame” and “authority” then the last thing they would be doing is to take on the corruption of the Maine political class, subjecting themselves to the constant vilification of the media packaging vicious smear campaigns as “news”.  It remains to be seen how much they can accomplish in cleaning up the mess progressively entrenched for over thirty years of leftist domination, but they have been willing to put up with quite a lot in trying.  Poliquin’s legal use of a tax classification to save himself from even more outrageous property taxes than he is currently paying — which thousands of people are doing — is not the issue, and neither should he engage in further personal sacrifices in a futile effort to appease the left.

      • Anonymous

         Maine’s Majority broke the story, not the BDN.

        • Anonymous

          When is Maine’s Majority going to start collecting sales tax on their sales?  Hypocrites?

          • When is the Republican Party going to start paying Sales Tax on the Bull that they sold so well to you?

        • jimbobhol

          I know I said someone gave the story to BDN to print.

        • Anonymous

          They did not “break a story”.  This is an activist smear campaign with a phony manufactured scandal posing as a news story.  Not the first time for such BDN complicity.

  • Anonymous

    And why is this any different than Roxanne Quimby using the tree growth system to bilk the local taxpayers out of the money that she should be paying on the 59,000 acres that she wants to turn into a national park?

    This whole subsidy system is open to legal interpretation, and the lawyers always seem to be able to interpret them to the detriment of the taxpayer in order for their clients to save (or make) money.

    Ethanol, wind power, farm commodities, biofuels, green anything…………… the list goes on and on

    Tree growth is only one in a long line of taxpayer funded subsidies.

    In this instance , it appears that Polquin is only working within the law to save himself some money.

    I’d rather have him in charge of my money, than, let’s say………….Dale McCormick.

    • Anonymous

       FYI.  Quimby actually does do some timber harvesting.  It isn’t a lot, but some.

      • Anonymous

        Only enough to satisfy the tree growth requirements.

        • Anonymous

          She doesn’t have to be currently cutting trees to satisfy the tree growth requirements, especially since the land she bought had recently been heavily cut.  But she does have to manage it primarily with intent of future commercial sales — which she has openly boasted she is not doing.  She has stated that her only purpose is to flip it to the National Park Service by 2016 precisely because that would put it into Federal wilderness control preventing commercial operations forever.  If she is in the tree growth program, then with that primary intent small amounts of harvesting now does not help her qualify. 

          Unlike the many small landowners who qualify by their long term management  plans even though they are not a full scale commercial operation (which isn’t required), Quimby is a perfect example of radical preservationism that flagrantly contradicts the requirements of the tree growth program.

    • Quimbys 59,000 acres is still currently a Working Forest..

      Pelicans 10 acres isin’t enough trees to build a shed!

  • Anonymous

    As anyone who frequents these boards knows I am not a fan of Paul LePage , his politics or the way the currently tea party republican controlled crowd in Augusta have gone about governing our State. Having said that I think it is far too early to start calling the current Treasurer of the State of Maine a fraud. Is this a politically motivated attack on an individual simply because some people do not agree with his politics? I honestly do not know nor do I profess to have any knowledge other then what has been published in the BDN and other Maine Papers. What I do know is that Treasurer Poliquin has been instrumental in questioning the way Maine State Housing does business. While I have seen accusations, in themselves possibly politically motivated, we have yet to see any firm data to either prove or disprove those accusations. I am also aware that there are other charges being leveled against Mr. Poliquin concerning his fitness to hold the Maine State Treasurer’s position due to provisions in the Maine Constitution. Apparently prior to taking office Poliquin had questions as well and consulted with the sitting Attorney General for a ruling. The Attorney General at that time felt that it would have been inappropriate to render a decision due to the fact that Poliquin was a private citizen and suggested he consult private legal counsel. There have also been reports that he failed to properly make full disclosure on financial documents in regard to being Maine’s Treasurer. Again I have no way of knowing if these charges are true or not. The Maine Attorney General has been asked to issue an opinion on if Poliquin is in violation of the provisions of theMaine Constitution. In fact it has been over a month since the first request was made for that opinion. The Attorney General could put an end to a lot of this speculation at least as far as Poliquin’s fitness to serve as Treasurer by issuing an opinion. To do otherwise will just add to the questions and fuel more politically motivated attacks. 

    • Good. I want to join his beach club. I hope to see you there in my private cabana. 

      • Anonymous

        I was thinking that if we apply the same logic to the Poliquin Forest that noparkforme applies to Roxanne Quimby’s land then we should be able to hunt, snowmobile and ride our ATV’s through it.

        • Anonymous

          The tree growth program does not require public access.  No one would object to Quimby personally owning and using 12 acres in privacy.  Unlike Quimby, Poliquin is not a wilderness fanatic buying up tens of thousands of acres specifically to ban human use on as much as she can with as much Federal wilderness as she can impose on millions of acres in order to obliterate private property, industry and civilization.

    • Anonymous

      Babble much?

      • Anonymous

        Are you against giving someone the benefit of the doubt until some firm evidence is presented that they have done something wrong?

  • Anonymous

    Tomorrow Lepew loses another cronie, after he resigns, if only we can get some dirt on the Governor and get him to resign all would be right with world again.

  • Patten_Pete

    Much ado about nothing.

    LePage Derangement Syndrome.

  • Anonymous

    “GUILTY AS CHARGED” says the Bangor Daily News.

  • Anonymous

    AM i the only one thats not surprised anymore when we hear just another bit of thievery from our fine outstanding people running one of our states offices ! Just one more of the ENTITLED ELITE ! 

    • Anonymous

      Poliquin is not a ‘thief’ and not part of the elitist political class that lives off government power.  He is trying to clean up that corruption.  He has been in the tree growth program for years before becoming state treasurer, on the same terms as thousands of others. He is not using power to gain anything, not paying taxes he doesn’t have to is not a “gain”; it is his money, not the government’s and not other taxpayers’. This ‘news’ article on behalf of political activists in attack mode is misleading people.  It is intended to.

      • Jason Simonds

         I call this BULL….  he is acting EXACTLY like someone that uses power to gain.

  • Guest

    Poliquin has to go. No wonder he is rich, he knows how to take Maine for all he can and we still have him on the State of Maine payroll.

    • Not only On the Payroll but also “in charge” of it!

  • Anonymous

    “For several reasons, including difficulty of road access and the restrictions on timber harvesting according to the state’s shoreland zoning regulations, the ability to harvest any timber on this property — even if that was the interest of the landowner — is extremely limited,” 
    Never the less to really qualify;   “the forest service sent letters to all tree growth tax program participants reminding them of the requirements, specifically that they needed to harvest trees for commercial use and adopt management plans.” 
    How can the tax credits be given to land that is not already in use as a wood lot ? 

    Then if the law already says X percent cannot be harvested, anyway, 
    how can that land ever qualify ?  Shouldn’t there be limits on that ? 
    What is reasonable on real woodlands ? That is a figure the Forestry Dept.
    should know, given the economic impact of the laws intended to protect the water sheds hinges on that.  

    Now, tell me if you can, because I’m happy to admit I’m not certain, 
    but is a mere 1o acres really a commercially viable wood lot ?  

    My feeling is that it would not heat a  whole house year in year out, 
    for more then  a few years.  
    So isn’t this just like getting a farm subsidy on your garden ? 

    • Anonymous

      Ten acres is viable for growing and managing trees for eventual commercial sale.  That doesn’t mean that you can make a living from such a long term process on ten acres.

      The law specifies that land under legal restrictions limiting tree cutting does not disqualify it from the “current use” program.  It would not be right to tax someone more because he is prevented from fully using it for development or full scale logging.

  • Anonymous

    Maybe Brucie wanted to harvest logs so he could build some cabins for his buddies.

  • Anonymous

    Another daily attack.

  • jimbobhol
  • Anonymous

    Ah yes, The Poliquin Forest. Isn’t the intent of the Tree Growth Tax Law to encourage commercial forest development and sustainability? None of the reports about this situation indicate that as ever having been Mr. Poliquin’s intent in having his management plan developed by a certified forester. It has been reported that the purchase agreement included language about tree removal being based on an aesthetic rather than a commercial basis. If that’s the case, then there might be one.

  • Anonymous

    Yuppers…another ROBthePUBLICan screaming at teachers, state workers, unions, working poor, those receiving MaineCare, and those receiving welfare…MEANWHILE he’s busy ripping off the tax abatement program…WHAT A SHOCK. Know another shock? Just lie ROBert Nutting, the LIEpage administration will cover for him and NEVER charge him.

    • Anonymous

      The great thing about America is the freedom to be able to move to another state. I was born and lived in Maine my whole life. I never thought it would become so bad. When you add up who is on the state, working for the state, counties,cities,towns, colleges, cottage industries created by state laws rules regulation. The parisite feeds without thought of life  of his host. Time to pack up and head to the states that are reducing all of the above and business and people that want to work.  I’ll spead the word about your socialist dream up here. Great benne’s here in Maine . I wonder what happens when all the host die or move, do parisites eat themselves. Any one want to buy some land  Downeast!

      • Jim Olson

         I recommend Denmark. They speak English.

    • Anonymous

      Poliquin is not “ripping off” anyone.  Thousands of people are in this “current use” program because the taxes are so high that few could afford or be willing to pay what Augusta considers “normal” taxes imposed for large parcels of land at the highest use criterion for tax rates.

  • Guest

    Thousands of people are in tree growth, We are, in the NH mountains with their tree growth program. Now that I realize that our ocean front  acres could be in tree growth the game is on…  Did you know that Poliquin is a human and worked for a living… If he ever sells his property it will cost him…  petty to say the least. 

    • Anonymous

       The Maine Revenue Service told me yesterday that there are about 23,000 properties that have some acreage in the Tree Growth program.

      • Anonymous

        Yup, many of them non- residents doing the same as Poliquin on their shore front property.

        • Anonymous

           I don’t doubt that there are many other property owners, with no intent of having their land used as a commercial woodlot, taking advantage of this program.

          • Anonymous

            It doesn’t have to be a commercial woodlot or continuously logged, only managed as a wood lot that is primarily for futures ‘commercial’ sale of some product from it.  Growing trees is a very long term process and thousands of landowners are in the program without being an active and continuous commercial operation.  The program is not just for paper companies.

          • Jason Simonds

             and to drive the point home, Poliquin will never legally be able to harvest ANY wood form this lot by the terms of the DEED he agreed to accept as a condition of his purchase of the property. Further the proximity of this land to the ocean and coming wiht in the shore-land zoning area also restricts his ability to harvest.

            and to whit…..  If one deducts from this lot the land he cannot touch via the Shoreland Zoning law, then he does not even have 10 acres to put into tree growth to begin with.

            And finally… what would the reaction be if this was Ms Quimby in the spot light?? My guess is that you folks would be ALL OVER this screaming bloody murder… wouldn’t you… and so would I because this isn;t politics, it is some one in politics cheating….

    • Anonymous

      The penalties for leaving the Maine program are enormous, especially for high value land.

  • Guest

    Isn’t ROXANNE QUIMBY using the tree gowth program to save 10’s of thousands of dollars on taxes that poor Mainers could use????

    • Anonymous

       She may be. It would mean that that land is a productive, working woodlot. That is the point of the Tree Growth tax reduction program.

      • Anonymous

         She is in blatant defiance of the TGT program by allowing liquidation harvesting before the sale, and making it a “sanctuary” after the sale.  It’s disgusting and a travesty – someone needs to stop it.

        • Jason Simonds

           wait wait wait… if what Poliquin did was within the LETTER of the law, then so is Quimby… right??

          …….but this isn’t about what is right……  it is about someone saving land for the future and you do not like that.  Amazes me that you folks are all for individual rights, but when the person uses those rights to do something you do not like you witch hunt her…. there is a word they use to describe this…

  • Anonymous

    Its a 12 acre parcel ! , LOL I want to know how many acres of trees there are ? Im guessing not many. The minimum number of acres should be more than twelve. You couldnt get lost in that forest !

    • Anonymous

      Look back at the article for the Google Map image of what the Poliquin estate looks like from above.

    • Anonymous

      The tree growth ‘current use’ tax evaluation program is available to anyone with at least 10 acres.

  • Anonymous

    Thias guy is just as crooked as David Burns the disgraced former Rep district 138

  • StillRelaxin

    One has to wonder how much more humiliation Maine citizens will be willing to take from this LePage administration? It’s only been a year! I’d provide a whole list embarrassments but it’s become too long to bother. Anyone have that list to cut and paste in response?

    • Anonymous

      We’ve taken thirty plus years of outright humiliation and degradation from the democrat majority.

       I call this new wave extremely refreshing…….

  • It’s absolutely unconscionable to me that the Bangor Daily News gives “investigative” treatment to this non-story press release issued by a partisan advocacy group that exists solely to attack the current administration; all the while treating the damning and insightful work done by the Maine Heritage Policy Center as off-limits to their paper (or worse, publishing it with a demeaning and degrading tone).When you consider the fact that Mr. Poliquin has been a leading critic of the Maine Housing Authority, an organization for which Mr. Russell’s father works, it’s clear that a hit piece generated from a press release by an attack group criticizing Mr. Poliquin on a laughable charge is hypocritical at best and shockingly unethical at worst.As a resident of Maine for nearly 30 years, it’s been an absolute and genuine shame to stand by and watch as the once-proud (and once proudly independent) Bangor Daily News has degraded into a tabloid-esque mouthpiece for unoriginal, cruel, and brain dead partisan hackery. 

    • Anonymous

       Hmmmm. Maine People Before Politics.

      • Anonymous

        I know! When I read the words “tabloid-esque mouthpiece for unoriginal, cruel, and brain dead partisan hackery” MPBP was the first thing that came to mind.

    • Right, that’s why they are closing the loophole, because it is so ethical and right. Sorry your party is so crooked.

    • Anonymous

       Like the Heretic foundation is straight on the facts.  My first house was purchased with the assistance of MSHA.  Nobody else would look at me.  The Heretics want my tax dollars to go to private schools, privatize Social Security to help the wall street cronies.  We have a Canadian born governor whose life story is just that, and a business man crony who thinks he can bend the law instead of abiding buy it.  Talk about welfare cheats. 

  • Anonymous

    If this had come out during the gubernatorial race in 2010, would Poliquin be treasurer now?

    • Anonymous

      There is nothing to come out.  This phony ‘news story’ about hysterical accusations from a group of partisan activists angry over that they are not in power is no different in principle from the constant stream of manufactured ‘scandals’ throughout the concentrated smear campaign before and since the election.

      • Well, you may not like news like this coming out about how people in your party are cheating, but it is definately news to me. He needs to resign.

        • Anonymous

          It is not “news”. It is part of an ongoing activist smear campaign intended to hound people out of office.  Poliquin is not “cheating”; that is only the impression that the activists are trying to fabricate.

  • Anonymous

    “Any one may so arrange his affairs that his taxes shall be as low as
    possible; he is not bound to choose that pattern which will best pay
    the Treasury; there is not even a patriotic duty to increase one’s
    taxes.”

    “Over and over again courts have said that there is nothing
    sinister in so arranging one’s affairs as to keep taxes as low as
    possible. Everybody does so, rich or poor; and all do right, for nobody
    owes any public duty to pay more than the law demands: taxes are
    enforced exactions, not voluntary contributions. To demand more in the
    name of morals is mere cant.”

    Judge Learned Hand

    • Anonymous

       Msscv – we’re always impressed with your posts here on BDN and we’d love to have your input on our pages – you can find us on the FB group preserve maine traditions, or contact via e-mail at preservemainetraditions at gmail.

    • Anonymous

      agree I am knowledgeable about tree growth and he has done nothing wrong.  In fact who is to say he isnt growing old growth timber? To maximize value ? Who says he needs to clear it?  He could do some thinning any time.

      Most of the state is in tree growth, I know rich people who own lots and have excluded the public and used manyu police resources keeping them out that far outweigh what they pay in taxes. Those are the people to go after

      I also know low income people who own lots just like Mr. Polquins  albiet in lower taxed/assessed  coastal areas of the state and the only reason they can keep hold of thier inheritence is because of tree growth. So just remember the fallout from playing politics with this guy can hurt many , and even change the face of the state more by displacing natives for more rich kingodn lots.

      • Anonymous

        The “fall out” you mention appears to be intentional.  The left has been trying to impose their notion of “progressive” property taxes at least since the Baldacci (failed) attempt at several outrageous constitutional amendments on property tax assessments.  The tree growth ‘current use’ assessment is one of the policies they have been going after in their war on property owners, including the kind of owners you mentioned.  The activists are already promoting their manufactured scandal over Poliquin as an “example” exploited to rationalize their agenda and morally intimidate the legislature into going after the tree growth tax program. This BDN ‘news’ article is part of that campaign as they try to mislead and stampede the public.

      • Jason Simonds

         Who says he needs to clear it? 

        The whole concept of Tree Growth IS to harvest.  If for WHATEVER reason this cannot happen on the property then the status of this land being in tree growth is not legal.

        That better?

        Those people you know… .they have or will have to harvest tress on that land to keep the TG status. Plans are recorded with the State and must be revisited every 10 years. The land in TG must be being managed as a commercial forest.

        Again… fraud is fraud folks, and you can;t go around accusing poor people of stealing when you have no evidence, and then say this guy isn’t when we have reams of it…  or is all this screaming about fraud, not about fraud, but about bigotry and prejudice?

        You can’t have it both ways…

    • Jason Simonds

       If it is illegal for him to harvest tress on his land, and he did know this up front, then what he has done is illegally obtained Tree Growth Status.

       Period.

      • Anonymous

        It is not illegal for him to harvest trees, and there has been no evidence that he is illegally failing to follow the long term forestry plan. 

        The restrictions limiting tree cutting and prohibitions on other use of the land due to the deed restrictions and the state’s Shoreland Zoning impositions only underscore that it is sensible for him to seek a ‘current use’ assessment as opposed to being taxed for the potential of development that cannot be done.  Such restrictions do not prohibit the use of the state tree growth program. 

        Keeping the land in trees and undeveloped costs the town nothing for the schools and other ‘services’.  It is terribly unjust to bilk people with high property taxes to redistribute the money and spend it on things that have nothing to do with his land ownership.

        • Jason Simonds

           Forgive me, but when he goes to SELL this piece of property, I do not think he will discount the price of it due to the 10 acres being in any state at all, IE he will devalue the property for his use, but he will not lower the sell price, so he IS gaining a lot by his move.

          If he wished to be taxed at this level, perhaps he would be willing to sell at this same level?

          Tree Growth  exemptions are there to allow large property owner to manage their forests under a plan approved by a State forester. This ensures the land owner can harvest, ut that they do so in a sustainable;le manner, which benefits all of us. Other wise land owners might be incentive to just clear cut.

          Tree Growth is not a plan designed to lower property expenses on high end properties on the coast of Maine. Allowing it to be used in the way it has is an insult to the foresters and land owners who do use the system properly.  It also sends a signal to the other borderline cases to go ahead and try to cheat the system, because, hey.. it worked for the Treasurer.

          Tree growth is NOT in place to allow people that can afford to pay $2 million for a property to reduce their tax burden. It is not fair.  The spirit of the law is not to give millionaires a break on taxes, it is there to give wood lot owners a way to keep their land, instead of sell out to afford keeping some of it.

  • Anonymous

    This isn’t fraud. Welfare is fraud.

  • Anonymous

     “Ever eat a pine tree?”
    There sure are lots of griping nuts on this topic.

  • Anonymous

    Seems Maines Majority should clean their own house before pointing fingers.  Their website does not provide for sales tax on their sales. Are they also not in compliance with Maine’s tax laws?

  • Jim Olson

     I’m shocked, shocked, but IOKIYAR.

  • Anonymous

    Let’s get this straight LePage wants to cut DHHS or he will cut education.  And now we have the STATE TREASURER being investigated? We need to find away to show LePage and his cronies the door soon!.  They are destroying this state. 

    • Anonymous

       I’ll remind readers that a large portion of property taxes are used to fund public schools.

      • Anonymous

        Around 70% of property taxes on land typically goes to the schools.  Undeveloped woods costs the town almost nothing in schools or other town services.  ‘Current use’ tax evaluation rather than taxing the owner for what his land would be worth if fully developed and used for something else lessens the discrimination against landowners.  No property owner should ever be made to feel guilty for not paying more even more disproportionate property taxes than he already does for other people’s services.

    • Anonymous

      Anyone who blocks the power-seeking left is being politically “investigated” and smeared.  The politics of the left has become increasingly ugly.

  • Anonymous

    Wonder the amount of taxes Roxanne Quimby avoids by having her land in tree growth?

    • A buddy of his, eh?

    • Anonymous

       Quimby land is harvestable wood.  Poliquin can’t cut the wood on his lot.  Period.  Besides, if Roxannes land was worth $50k an acre,  4  billion would have been out of her price range.   I do believe most acreage up north for lumbering is $1,000 per acre to $2,000. 
      So at mil rate of $10, looks like she saves $100 for every ten acres vs Poliquin saves $5,000  per 10 acres. 

      • Anonymous

        The more the land is worth developed than in trees the greater the tax savings are.  That is not an argument against ‘current use’ tax assessment; it makes it more important.

  • Anonymous

    Oh, but who cares? Let’s go look for phony voter fraud instead.

  • Are you being filmed??? Was the sign on his property in Georgetown. WTH???  This guy is the ultimate sleaze….. How the heck he can face the public without hiding his face in shame is beyond me.
    “By doing so, he reduced the assessed value of his property from about
    $1.75 million to $725,000 and saved $5,000 annually in property taxes”
    Yet he never intended to harvest trees it was all a scam to avoid paying his FAIR SHARE.

  • He needs to immediately resign, if the administration is really serious about combating fraud. How can y0u justify going after unemployed people getting 350 per week and let the big cheats go?

    • Anonymous

      The legal use of the tree growth tax classification is not a “fraud” and those in the program are not “cheats”.

  • Wow, check out the map, this is an estate not a tree farm, what a crook.

    • Anonymous

      No one has shown that the 10 acres of woods are not being managed in accordance with the forestry plan.

  • Anonymous

    Another quality appointment from Paulie… go join Congdon, Demeritt, Brown, Dwight, Burns and Wintle  in the “Idiots who resigned in disgrace” Hall of Fame.

  • Anonymous

    What a chump.  The rich get richer.  He should resign immediately.  Look who’s calling the kettle black now?

    • Anonymous

      No one is “getting rich” by paying over $13,000 a year in property taxes instead of over $18,000 in the outrageous property tax.  No one should “resign” for not paying higher taxes.

  • Anonymous

    This law was intended to help create jobs. This law needs to
    be amended so the land owners who have no intention of ever harvesting wood no
    longer get huge tax breaks at the cost of the middle class. The fact that
    waterfront properties get these breaks just shows that both republicans and
    democrats like to help their wealthy donors. While there at it, let’s also
    adjust the law so that land owners that own large pieces of land in the North
    Maine Woods also have to actively harvest wood and it should be based on a % of
    the land so if you have 80,000 acres, you only qualify for the credit on land
    that you actually harvest wood from. If you can afford to give away your land
    to the Federal Government for free, then you should be able to pay taxes on the
    land based on your intended use. It doesn’t matter if you’re a wealthy democrat
    or republican you should pay your taxes.

    • Anonymous

      The law was not intended to “create jobs”.

  • Anonymous

    I want a $500,000 exemption on my property.

    I got some good lookin’ pines on it.

    and I hate my neighbor’s trailer.

    yessah

    • I want a $500, 000 tax exemption too . The money the state would owe me would be great.  

  • Conley Raye

    This will not stop until the cheats go to PRISON and have to pay us TAXPAYER”S back.

    • Anonymous

      lol i like the sound of them paying back the tax payers but records show unless you embezzle cheat or steal from a business nothing happens to the cheats who take taxpayer money

      • Anonymous

        Poliquin is not a “cheat taking taxpayer money”, and crimes are not prosecuted only when perpetrated against a “business”.

    • Anonymous

      The property tax he is forced to pay is not your money.  It is taken from him. You are not entitled to it and no one should “go to prison” for legally arranging his affairs to reduce his taxes.

  • Anonymous

    it did not take the lawmakers very long to gear up and pass a new law to help a buddy in need those are the kind of laws that seem to pass very quickly while others for the people seem to stall in committee.looks like scratch my back and ill scratch yours

    • Anonymous

      The tree growth tax category has been in the law for decades.  Thousands of people use it.

  • Eric Russell would not have given this story the time of day if it was about Emily Cain without first being sure of the facts.  Further proof that the democrats own the BDN.  This story belongs in National Enquirer.

  • Mary Stubbs

    So, all you liberals are out to hang the guy before he has been proven guilty of anything. Why am I not surprised?  You know, loopholes are legal.  It’s not a dirty word.  You probably take your mortgage deduction when you file your income tax…that’s a loophole. 

    • Anonymous

      He is claiming a loophole he is not entitled to.  If I take a mortgage deduction for my home, I am legitamately using a loophole.  If I also claim the house next door, I am abusing a loophole and breaking the law.

      • Anonymous

        He is not claiming the land next door.  It is his land and he has legally put it under the restrictions of the tree growth plan.  The tree growth ‘current use’ tax assessment plan on undeveloped woodland is not a “loophole”.

    • Anonymous

      “loophole are  legal”
      I suspect you belong to the group that advocates for a “Fair Tax” or a “flat tax”  because it would prevent loopholes.    LOL

  • Anonymous

    If this was a Liberal  they would be  lauded for setting aside pristine 
    ,and very very valuable ,  Ocean front Woodlands and protecting it
    from  development. They would be  held up as an Eco-movement  God for making the 10 acre gift to the State of Maine.The  estimated $5000. a year in Tax relief would be onsidered a mere pittance  compared to value of protecting  these  vulnerable acre’s  from becoming some  “Fat Cat  Wall Street Crook’s” 2 month a year summer retreat.  But No,not for “this Guy”
     Involvement in this program insures that  it would be “maintained”  under   it’s rules and
    guidelines and insure that it remains “undeveloped” .
    If this  were a Liberal they would be held in “Quimby’esq” regard. 
      Isn’t it funny how much difference  a “D”  or an “R” can make with you folks.

    • Anonymous

      Not true, for this Democrat anyway.  If my guy is dirty, get rid of him.  There are plenty of smart, honest people available on both sides that we don’t have to put up with this sort of scam. 

      • Anonymous

        The tree growth “current use” tax assessment as wooded land is not a “scam”.  Thousands of people across the state use this program to legally prevent outrageous property taxes used for ‘services’ that have nothing to do with their undeveloped land ownership.  

        You also did not address the hypocrisy of the viro left that routinely lauds wealthy landtrusters,  as described in the post.

  • Anonymous

    If I was Mr. Poliquin I would set the house aside with the minimum lot size, sell it and then donate the other 10 acres for a park, protected state land etc and then there wont be any tax coming in off the land.   10 Acres valued for $1million?  Talk about criminal.  I dont know so let me ask, if there is 12 acres of “working waterfront” and only 2 acres of it is being directly used while the other 10 acres just set unused does the lobster co-op or what ever pay tax’s on that land as if it was valued at $1million?  If so, how much money does that “STEAL” from the public statewide?

  • Anonymous

    The fact of the matter is you can’t cut the wood lot.  So how is that sustainable timeber harvesting?  The people of Bangor would be happy with the mil rate of $10.  Since ocean front property is  appreciating at 5% plus per annum, the increase in value of  the $2 million estate  is $100,000 per year.  Talk about a welfare cheat.

    • Anonymous

      No one is “stealing your money” by not paying higher taxes for redistribution.  People in Bangor might be happy with a $10 mil rate, but not with the over $13,000/year property taxes he is being gouged for.

      The tree growth plan assesses the land as “current use” rather than for development potential — of which it has relatively little for 10 acres due to the restrictions on the use of the property by the deed and the state shoreland zoning impositions.  The town has been demanding property taxes of over $18,000/year and you call him a “welfare cheat” for legally avoiding some of it at “only” $13,000/year.  Thousands of people across the state are in the  tree growth ‘current use’ program.  They are not “welfare cheats” for not being forced to pay higher taxes.

      • Anonymous

        Bangors currnet mil rate is north of $18.  If you can afford to spend 2 million on 10 arcres, you can pay the taxes.  Especially when the appreciation on said property is 3 times the median household income for the state.

  • Anonymous

    ‘Bout time.  Throw the book at him.  I’d advocate recall but I suppose that won’t work since he’s appointed by the Legislature.  Unwise policy at best (also applies to the Secretary of State).

  • The well to do Cry about people on welfare. It seems like those same people collect welfare themselves. 

    • Anonymous

      Not paying higher taxes is not “welfare”.  The town was demanding over $18,000 a year in property taxes.  He is entitled to the “current use” forestry classification for 10 acres of woods with no development that costs the town nothing in services.  He is still paying an outrageous over $13,000/year in property taxes.  That is not “welfare”.

  • Anonymous

    Welfare for the 1%! 

    • Anonymous

      How is not paying more taxes than one has to now classified as “welfare”?  They are opposite concepts.

  • Anonymous

    How is Charlie Webster ever gonna explain this?       

  • Jason Simonds

    If one removes the land that he cannot cut from the 10 acres, IE the land that the Shoreland Zoning Ordinance says he cannot touch. would he still have 10 acres?

    If one considers the contingencies he agreed to in the purchase of the land, then he does not have 10 acres that he can cit in any way.

    Singly,  either of these points should  have nullified his ability to obtain TG status.

    Together they  make it totally impossible for this parcel of land to ever have been legally put into TG status.

    To say that the man who is smart enough to be Treasurer, lauded as a near financial genius in pitch for him to occupy his position, was dumb enough to let BOTH of these slip by??

    Now, can we move the discussion fwd on that basis.

    So which is it… he is dumb as a hammer, or smart as you say?

  • Anonymous

      We have to pay the people more for State Treasurer position so they can do a much better job.  Surely it can not be their judgement! We all know more money buys more brains. Lol .

  • Anonymous

    It’s not welfare for the rich, it is simply the social safety net for millionaires. It can’t be easy for poor Mr. Poliquin to support a family in Maine on a state salary, saddled with the cost and upkeep of a 2.7 million dollar mansion. Why can’t people sympathize with him rather than lash out at him out of envy? If he sought my advice, I’d advise him to look into not growing soybeans or cotton or rice (or any other crop he had no intention of ever growing,)   on any lawn area surrounding his home in exchange for direct payment from the USDA.  Perhaps he could start a non-profit to benefit himself  and donate his home to it. Lots of ways he could live in a waterfront mansion completely at taxpayers’ expense if he would only make the effort  to go for it. He is off to a good start, though.

    On the other hand, perhaps that unnamed forester discovered a thick stand of teak , mahogany and ebony trees, which might help explain the roughly $100,000 per acre drop in assessed value on some of what sounds like the world’s most expensive timber land.

    We need to talk to that forester.

  • Anonymous

    Ten acres of ocean front peninsula land is valued at $3,650.  That doesn’t pass the straight face test. 

    His deed says no thinning of trees except to improve view.  The Tree Growth rules say you have to have a plan for commercial harvesting in order to get a tax exemption.  Those two are mutually exclusive. 

    Come on people call it like it is ………. a scam.

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