YORK COUNTY, Maine, Oct. 13, 2017 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Progress for Maine announced today that the Aroostook Band of Micmacs has endorsed Yes on Question 1, which would create $45 million in new annual state tax revenue by allowing a new gaming and entertainment center to be built in York County.
The Tribal Council for the Aroostook Band of Micmacs recently voted to support Question 1, after reaching an agreement in principle with Progress for Maine's primary backers to create new non-gaming economic development opportunities for the tribe.
"We're proud to support Yes on Question 1 because the backers of the measure have made a commitment to the Tribe — to help bring new economic opportunity to us so that we can continue on our path towards achieving self-reliance," said Edward Peter-Paul, Tribal Chief of the Aroostook Band of Micmacs. "Though we are a federally recognized tribe, we receive no funding from the Oxford Casino and its Kentucky-based ownership — Churchill Downs, Inc. Yes on 1 wants to fix that for us."
Opponents of Question 1 have tried to limit Native American support for a York County gaming and entertainment venue. These opponents lobbied to create a legislative provision that would cut off Churchill Downs funding from the Passamaquoddy and Penobscot tribes should Question 1 pass. Both tribes currently receive funding from the Oxford Casino and Question 1 gives them another $1 million a year—bringing the total to Passamaquoddy and Penobscot to over $3 million from gaming in Maine. The Aroostook Band of Micmacs were excluded.
"Question 1 affords us an opportunity to work with our fellow tribes and elected leaders to ensure that all Native American tribes in Maine can benefit from the gaming and entertainment industry," said Peter-Paul.
By voting Yes on Question 1 on November 7th, voters will have the opportunity to approve a new gaming and entertainment center in York County. This will provide a major economic boost for Maine – generating new jobs, tax relief and funding for programs that support K-12 education, college scholarships, drug education, our veterans, Native American tribes, senior citizens and agriculture. In addition to gaming, the new entertainment venue will also feature a convention center, which is designed to promote tourism and offer concerts, county fairs, farmer's markets, community events, and more.
"Question 1 will create new economic benefits for Native American tribes in Maine, and we're thrilled to have the support of the Aroostook Band of Micmacs who have been excluded from benefiting from gaming in the state by wealthy out-of-state lobbyists," said Maine resident and Progress for Maine spokeswoman Rebecca Foster. "A new gaming and entertainment center in York County offers an exciting future for so many taxpayers, job seekers and business owners across the state. We hope Maine voters will join us in voting Yes on Question 1 to keep jobs, tourism and tax revenue in Maine."
The York County gaming and entertainment venue would: create 2,165 permanent jobs and 2,767 construction jobs; generate $64.4 million in new household earnings from operation of the casino, and more than $100 million in household earnings from construction; and create at least $45 million a year in tax revenue for the state. Portions of that revenue will be dedicated to funding for Native American tribes, Maine veterans, property tax relief, senior citizens and other priorities.
About Progress for Maine: For Jobs. For Schools. For Tax Relief.
Progress for Maine is dedicated to economic development and job growth in York County and across the entire state through the establishment of a new gaming and entertainment destination in the York County area. Progress for Maine supports a "Yes" vote on Question 1 on the statewide ballot in November. For more information visit www.ProgressforMaine.com and follow the campaign on Facebook and Twitter.
About the Aroostook Band of Micmacs
The majority of the more than 1240 members of the Aroostook Band of Micmacs live within Aroostook County, located in Northern Maine. Micmacs have traditionally occupied the lands south and east of the Gulf of Saint Lawrence, the Maritime Provinces and other regions along the Atlantic Seaboard of Northeastern America. The Micmac Nation, today, is composed of seven districts with 29 bands and a population of approximately 30 thousand. More information about the tribe can be found at: http://www.micmac-nsn.gov/
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SOURCE Progress for Maine