Wal-Mart Subsidy Report for Maine
Subsidies received by Wal-MartThere are no centralized databases of economic development subsidies, but Good Jobs First found 3 deals worth a total of about $22.2 million in Maine. They include the following:
Good Jobs First has compiled data on Wal-Mart subsidies in the following citiesAugusta, ME : $5.7 million
Lewiston, ME : $16 million
Waterville, ME : $500,000
Hidden taxpayer costsMany Wal-Mart workers are ineligible for health coverage from their employer or choose not to purchase what is available, because it is too expensive or too limited in scope. These workers often turn to taxpayer-funded health programs such as Medicaid. In June 2005 the Institute for Local Self-Reliance obtained data from the Maine Department of Health and Human Services on companies with workers enrolled in Medicaid and other public assistance programs (data on dependents was not available). At the top of the list was Wal-Mart, with 751 workers receiving benefits. In November 2005 the Lewiston Sun Journal obtained information from the state Department of Health and Human Services on those employers with the largest number of workers on MaineCare (the state's version of Medicaid), food stamps and TANF (temporary assistance to needy families). At the top of the list was Wal-Mart, with 1,100 employees in one or more of the programs. Sources: Press release issued June 28, 2005 by the Institute for Local Self-Reliance; available online at http://www.newrules.org/retail/news_slug.php?slugid=311 and Kathryn Skelton, "Working, On Welfare: Thousands in Maine Have Jobs, But Get Assistance," Lewiston Sun Journal, November 14, 2005.
For an estimate of how much Wal-Mart is costing the state of ME for taxpayer-funded healthcare, see http://www.wakeupwalmart.com/feature/healthcrisis/map.html#ME
Property Tax AppealsIn the course of researching our report Rolling Back Property Tax Payments