10 Nov WCME Midcoast News November 10, 2015
Auto sales revenue is significantly higher in Maine than it was last year, but it is not because we are buying more vehicles. We are buying larger and more expensive vehicles, like trucks and SUVs. At Maine Revenue Services, they say retail automotive sales in Maine totaled about three billion dollars through the first eight months of this year, a seven percent increase from the same period last year.
In spite of the presence of more higher-paying out-of-state students, the University of Maine is projecting a $7.2 million dollar budget gap for the fiscal year beginning in July–about the same as this year, a year which was handled without cuts in staff or programs. Almost half of the current gap reflects a two percent pay increase for employees.
An executive of Plum Creek Timber Company says it will be “business as usual” in Maine as the company moves forward with a plan to merge with Weyerhauser Company, forming one of the world’s largest timberland businesses. Weyerhauser plans to buy Seattle-based Plum Creek for $8.4 billion dollars in a deal that would give Weyerhauser control of an estimated 13 million acres nationwide and create a company valued at $23 billion dollars.