Property Tax Stabilization for Senior Citizens

In 2022, the Maine Legislature adopted the Property Tax Stabilization Program for Seniors.  Approximately 360 seniors in Orono signed up for this program for the FY24 tax year.  This program was then repealed by the Maine Legislature on July 6th, 2023 with an effective date of October 11th, 2023.  The repeal of this program means there will be no re-application process and no need to follow-up with the Assessing Department. 

 

In an effort to assist lower-income seniors with property taxes and remain in their homes, the

Legislature expanded two existing State programs:

 

1.     PROPERTY TAX FAIRNESS CREDIT – This program allows eligible Mainers to receive a portion of the property tax or rent paid during the tax year on the Maine individual income tax return whether they owe Maine income tax or not.  This $1,500 credit has been increased to $2,000.  NOTE: This program is not administered by the Town of Orono.  To claim the credit, you must file IRS Form 1040ME and Schedule PTFC/STFC for the tax year during which the property tax or rent was paid.

 For information about qualification or additional program details, you may contact Maine Revenue Services via: Taxpayer Contact Center at 207-624-9784 or taxpayerassist@maine.gov or Income Tax Division at 207-624-8475 or income.tax@maine.gov or for even more info, visit https://www.maine.gov/revenue/taxes/tax-relief-credits-programs/income-tax-credits/property-tax-fairness-credit.


2.     PROPERTY TAX DEFERRAL PROGRAM - a lifeline loan program that covers the payment of annual property tax bills of Maine seniors who cannot afford to pay them on their own, has been expanded. It doubles the annual income limit on that program to $80,000 and also raises individual(s) asset limits to qualify for the program. All deferred taxes must be paid back when the home is sold, becomes part of an estate or becomes ineligible for the program in any other way.   NOTE: This program is administered by the State; however, applications must be filed with the Assessor’s Office between January 1 and April 1 each year. Applications are then forwarded to Maine Revenue Services for review and final determination for acceptance and approval into this program.

 

For information about qualification or additional program details, you may contact Maine Revenue Services - Property Tax Division at (207) 624-5600 or prop.tax@maine.gov, you may also visit the State Property Tax Deferral website.

Additional property tax relief programs

 Homestead Exemption:  The Homestead exemption reduces the property tax bill of all Maine resident homeowners who have owned and lived in their house as their primary residence for the prior 12 months as of April 1st. The exempt amount of $25,000 is deducted from the property’s total taxable value.

 

Veteran Exemption: Any Maine resident (age 62 or greater as of April 1st) who was in active service in the armed forces of the U.S during a federally recognized war campaign period and, if discharged or retired under honorable conditions, may be eligible for a $6,000 reduction in valuation. Veterans under the age of 62 may qualify for this exemption if receiving a pension or compensation as a result of total disability (100%) from the U.S. Military.

 

Widow/Widower/Parent or Minor Children of Veterans Exemption: Any Maine resident who is a non-remarried widow or widower, parent or minor child of a veteran who would have been entitled to the Veteran Exemption, may be eligible for a $6,000 reduction in the property’s total taxable valuation. Applicants must receive compensation from the U.S. Military as a result of their relationship with the deceased veteran or be the beneficiary of a revocable living trust that held the property for which the exemption is being claimed.

 

Blind Exemption:  Any Maine resident who is certified to be legally blind by their eye care professional is eligible for a $4,000 reduction in the property’s total taxable value.

 

Applications for the above programs can be picked up at the Town of Orono – Town Clerk / Assessor’s Office or downloaded at the State of Maine Property Tax Exemptions website.  


The Town of Orono Assessing Department is also available to assist with any of the above at your convenience.  Please don’t hesitate to reach out with any questions to Jessica in the Office of Community Development at 889-6909 or jchadourne@orono.org.