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In August 2022, a new Maine law took effect: LD 290 “An Act To Stabilize Property Taxes for Individuals 65 Years of Age or Older Who Own a Homestead for at Least 10 Years,” also known as “The Property Tax Stabilization Program.” The goal of this program is to help senior citizens (i.e., those 65 years of age or older) control their expenses by stabilizing, or freezing, the property taxes on their homestead.

This program can offer a significant benefit to seniors in Maine, regardless of their income or assets.

To qualify, interested taxpayers must file an application every year with the municipality where their homestead is located. Once an application is made, the respective municipality will determine eligibility based on the below criteria. If approved, the applicant’s taxes will be frozen at the start of the next tax year. Because the law went into effect in August 2022, it will apply to property tax years beginning April 1, 2023.

Qualification Guidelines:

  • Applicants must apply by December 1st
    • By applying, seniors must be willing to state that the application will meet the below criteria on April 1st of the coming year.
  • Applicants must:
    • Be 65 years of age
    • Be a permanent Maine resident
    • Have owned a Maine home for at least 10 years.
  • Any property placed in the Program must be eligible for a homestead exemption.

Other Key Information:

  • If the property is jointly owned, only one owner needs to meet the above criteria.
  • One is not required to own a Maine home for 10 consecutive years.
  • There is no income limit or asset limit for applicants.
  • Should the applicant’s property be removed from the Program, one does not need to repay the benefit.
  • Should the applicant’s property taxes subsequently fall below the frozen amount, the applicant will pay the lower amount.
  • As long as you continue to qualify and file timely annual renewal applications, the amount you are billed each tax year will be frozen at the amount billed in the year an application was first submitted.

How Does It Work?

Here is an example to illustrate how the program works. Assume you paid $5,000 for property taxes in 2022 on your primary residence. You apply for the Program and your application is approved. On April 1st 2023, you learn your taxes are going up to $6,000 a year. You will pay only $5,000, and the State of Maine will reimburse the town the $1,000 difference so the town is made “whole.”

To continue the example, assume you apply again by December 1, 2023, to remain in the Program. You find that your taxes for the upcoming year will be $4,500, even though you are “frozen” at $5,000. You will pay the lesser amount, in this case $4,500.

We encourage everyone to review this program to see if it fits their current situation. If you do qualify for the program, please be sure to apply by December 1, 2022, using the form available here. Should you need assistance with the application, please be sure to reach out to your local municipality soon to ensure you are able to apply before the December 1st deadline.

Learn More at: Property Tax Stabilization Program | Maine Revenue Services

Means Wealth Management is a registered investment advisor.