Tax Relief Programs
Please see below for a list of currently available tax relief programs. Click on one of the available programs below to learn additional information.
- Property Tax Stabilization for Senior Citizens (LD 290)
- Property Tax Assistance Program
- Maine Homestead Exemption
- Maine Veteran’s Exemption
- Blind Exemption
- Renewable Energy Equipment Exemption
- Maine Property Tax Deferral Program
Property Tax Stabilization for Senior Citizens (LD 290)
2023 PROPERTY TAX STABILIZATION FOR SENIORS
*** NOTICE ***
STAY TUNED, CHECK BACK LATE AUGUST / EARLY SEPTEMBER
In August 2022, a new Maine law took effect: LD 290 “Property Tax Stabilization for Senior Citizens,” also known as the Property Tax Stabilization Program. The goal of this program is to help seniors (i.e., those 65 years of age or older) control their expenses by stabilizing, or freezing, the property taxes on their homestead. LD 290, PL 2021, c. 751.
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 (i.e., primary residence) 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.
- 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, 2023. A 2023 application will be posted on our website when available. Stay tuned, check back late August / early September.
For more information about this senior program, please see The Property Tax Stabilization Program: A Guide for Applicants.
Property Tax Assistance Program
The Town of Scarborough offers its own property tax relief through our assistance program. The three eligibility requirements are:
- Applicant is age 62 or older as of the application deadline
- Applicant has been a Town resident for at least 10 years as of the application deadline.
- Applicant’s household has an Adjusted Gross Income (AGI) of less than $50,000
To qualify, your annual property tax burden must exceed 5% of the household AGI. For mobile homes, we consider rent paid in addition to your tax burden. Applicants who qualify will receive up to $750 at the end of the year.
Applications for owners and renters are currently available and the application deadline is October 16, 2023.
Maine Homestead Exemption
The State of Maine offers a Homestead Exemption for property owners who claim their residence in Maine. You must have owned homestead property in Maine for 12 months. This is currently a $25,000 reduction to your taxable value. The actual impact on your tax bill depends on the mill rate.
If you have already applied for this program you do not need to apply again on the same property. If you have recently moved or sold your property, you must reapply for the exemption on your new home, even if you are moving within Scarborough. Applications must be submitted by April 1 in order to qualify for the next tax year. Applications received after April 1 will not be effective until the following tax year.
Homestead Property Tax Exemption (Title 36, M.R.S.A. Section 681)
Maine Veteran’s Exemption
The State of Maine offers a Veteran’s Exemption for property owners who meet one of the following criteria:
- Age 62 or older and served during a recognized war period
- Receives 100% disability from the VA
- Paraplegic Veterans
- Surviving spouse, minor child, or widowed parent of a Veteran
Applications must be submitted by April 1 in order to qualify for the next tax year. You must provide the Veteran’s DD 214 with the application. Applications received after April 1 will not be effective until the following tax year.
Veteran Property Tax Exemption Application
Veteran Property Tax Exemption Application (For Widowed Spouse, Minor Child, Widowed Parent)
(Title 36, M.R.S.A. Section 653)
The State of Maine offers a Blind Exemption to homeowners who are legally blind.
Applications must be submitted by April 1 in order to qualify for the next tax year. You must provide a letter from your doctor with the application. Applications received after April 1 will not be effective until the following tax year.
Blind Persons Property Tax Exemption Application
(Title 36, M.R.S.A. Section 654)
Renewable Energy Equipment Exemption
Effective April 1, 2022, the Town of Scarborough will begin taxing renewable energy equipment. This equipment can be exempt through the State of Maine Renewable Energy Equipment Exemption application.
Applications must be submitted by April 1 in order to qualify for the next tax year. Applications received after April 1 will not be effective until the following tax year.
Renewable Energy Exemption Application
(Title 36, M.R.S.A. Sect. 655/656)
Maine Property Tax Deferral Program
In 2021, the Maine Legislature reinstated this property tax deferral program to help seniors and the fully disabled stay in their homes and age in place. For qualified and approved applicants, the State of Maine will pay the property taxes each year. The state will place a lien on the property and all deferred taxes (and accrued interest) are repaid to the state when the property is sold or the applicant passes away.
- An owner of the property must be 65 years of age or have a permanent disability that prevents an individual from being employed.
- An applicant or applicants must be the deeded property owner and must be receiving a Homestead Exemption.
- Applicants must have an income of less than $40,000 and liquid assets of less than $50,000 (or $75,000 if a joint application).
- The property must have NO municipal liens for unpaid property taxes filed against it at the time of application.
- Applications must be filed with the Assessor's Office between January 1 and April 1 each year. Applications are forwarded to Maine Revenue Services who review the application and make the determination for acceptance and approval.
FAQ for Taxpayers - Maine.gov - State Property Tax Deferral Program
Application & Instructions - Maine Property Tax Deferral Program
Program Guide for Municipalities
Questions on this State managed program can be referred to Maine Revenue Services, Property Tax Division, at 207-624-5600 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Kevin Boyle is the current contact person for the program and can be reached directly at email@example.com or 207-592-3816.