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1983 Maine Attorney General Reports and Opinions 1 (1983)

handle is hein.sag/sagme0011 and id is 1 raw text is: 83-1

January 7, 1983
Honorable Andrew J. Redmond
Maine Senate
State House
Augusta, Maine 04333
Dear Senator Redmond:
This letter responds to your request for a written opinion
concerning possible amendment of the Tree Growth Tax Law,
36 M.R.S.A. § 571, et seq. This law provides for valuation of
timberland for property tax purposes according to its current
use as allowed by a 1970 amendment of Article IX, section 8 of
the Maine Constitution. The practical effect of this law is to
reduce the property tax burden to forest landowners in the
State of Maine who fall within its terms. You have asked
whether it would be constitutionally permissible to condition
the benefits of the Tree Growth Tax Law upon the processing of
sawlogs and pulpwood within the State. For the reasons set
forth below, it is the opinion of this Office that such an
amendment would constitute an impermissible burden upon
interstate and foreign commerce under the Commerce Clause,
article 1, section 8, clause 3 of the United States
Constitution, and would also be violative of the import-export
clause, article 1, section 10 of the United States Constitution.
The pertinent facts, as we understand them, are as
follows. Businesses which process Maine timber, both domestic
and foreign, resident and nonresident, may have production
facilities within the state as well as facilities in other
states and in foreign countries, principally Canada. The
capital investment in production facilities is large. The
loc- tion of production facilities is governed by the type and

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