Do you fully understand how Maine’s new Homestead Exemption and Property Tax Relief Law benefit you as a homeowner? Would you benefit from a Maine Tax Update? If so, let’s take a couple of minutes to spotlight the all-new changes—including some late-breaking news!
New Homestead Exemption
According to Maine Revenue Services, the Maine Homestead Exemption “provides a measure of property tax relief for certain individuals who have owned homestead property in Maine for at least 12 months, and make the property they occupy on April 1 their permanent residence.”
Maine’s new Homestead Exemption increases your homestead exemption from $20,000 to $25,000 for property tax years beginning on or after April 1, 2020. The law also benefits your local city or town government in a larger sense, because it increases the State of Maine’s reimbursement to municipalities from 62.5% to 70% of revenue lost due to the exemption. This aspect of the law also pertains to property tax years beginning on or after April 1, 2020.
Property Tax Relief
This new law establishes the Property Tax Relief Fund for Maine Residents (replacing the Tax Relief Fund for Maine Residents). The law stipulates that funds be used to provide property tax relief payments directly to every Maine resident whose residence qualifies for an exemption under the Maine Homestead Exemption. When the fund reaches a target balance, the Treasurer of State is required, by March 1, to mail tax-relief checks to each owner of a qualifying homestead. (And soon he will do exactly that! Please see “Breaking News for Homeowners” below!)
The new property laws also exempt solar and wind-energy equipment from your property tax. If you feel you are owed this tax exemption, be sure to file an application with your municipality in the first year for which you seek the exemption.
Breaking News for Homeowners!
The Portland Press Herald just ran the headline: “Many Maine property taxpayers will get a little bit of extra cash in their pockets this winter.” In the article, State Treasurer Henry Beck announced that, starting in January or February, Maine homeowners who are eligible for the state’s Homestead Exemption program will get checks for about $100 in their mailbox. Nearly 305,000 Maine homeowners will receive these checks. So you likely will be one of them!
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