Town approves huge tax break for land-based salmon farm

Bucksport, Maine, USA, council allows Whole Oceans to avoid paying 70 per cent of new property taxes.

BangorDailyNews reports that Bucksport Town Council voted 7-0 on Thursday night to approve a tax break for the company that is planning a multi-million dollar land-based salmon at Bucksport, Maine. At full production, Whole Oceans hopes it will be able to produce 50,000 tonnes of fish at the former Verso Paper mill site.

Whole Oceans CEO Jason Mitchell told the council during its meeting that with the tax-increment financing deal approved, the company will apply to the town next month for a permit to build the farm.

The company applied with the town to use the state’s Tax Increment Financing, or TIF, program in late June.

The TIF (Tax Increment Financing District Development) agreement means that “Whole Oceans will not have to pay property taxes for the first five years of the 20-year agreement on any new property value it creates from developing the salmon farm. It will pay 25 percent of its new property tax obligations over the subsequent five years and 50 per cent for the remaining 10 years,” the publication wrote.

The first phase of the salmon farm’s development is estimated to cost USD 180.6 million, with construction expected to begin in the fourth quarter of this year.

At full production, Whole Oceans (50,000 tonnes) along with competing land-based projects Nordic Aquafarms (33,000 tonnes) and Aquabanq (5,000 tonnes) will produce 88,000 tonnes of salmon per-year from Maine, USA.