The deadline to apply for the new Seniors Property Tax Stabilization Program is fast approaching. Completed applications must be submitted to the Scarborough Assessment Office by December 1, 2022.
Since the program began on August 8, 2022, the City of Scarborough Assessment Office has received and processed approximately 1,550 applications. Based on the excellent high response from applicants, it seems word has gotten very well so far with Scarborough seniors. That said, it is important to ensure that everyone who is eligible is informed and able to apply for and receive the benefit. If you or someone you know is eligible and has not yet applied, please contact the Scarborough Assessment Office by December 1. Program details and eligibility requirements are explained below.
The Property Tax Stabilization Program (LD 290) is a new state program that allows certain senior residents to stabilize or freeze property taxes on their property. As long as you qualify and file a claim in a timely manner each year, the tax you are charged for your property will be frozen at the amount you were charged in the previous tax year. Eligible residents who move can transfer this fixed tax amount to a new property, even if that new property is in another Maine municipality.
How it works:
Once you have applied and are approved to participate in the program, the property tax you will be charged for the following tax year will be frozen at the amount you were charged the previous tax year . You must file a new application each year before the deadline in order to maintain this amount of tax stabilized.
For example, if you apply before December 1, 2022 and qualify for the program, the amount of tax you will be charged for the April 1, 2023 tax year will be the same as the amount you will be charged. billed for the tax year of April 1, 2022. year. As long as you continue to qualify and file annual renewal applications in a timely manner, the amount you are billed each subsequent year will be frozen at the amount billed for the April 1, 2022 tax year.
The state will reimburse your municipality for the difference between the amount you will be billed and the tax that would otherwise be due.
To be eligible for the program, a person must meet all of the following conditions by April 1 of the property tax year for which they are applying for stabilization (so for applications due December 1, 2022, qualifications must be met by April 1 2022). 2023):
• At least 65 years of age or older — If the applicant’s homestead is owned by more than one person as joint tenants, only one owner must be eligible for the program to participate. There is no income or asset limit to qualify. Proof of age via photo ID will be required when submitting your initial application.
• A permanent resident of Maine — If you do not receive the Homestead Exemption (eligibility for the Homestead Exemption is required), documentation of all of the following that apply will need to be presented at the time of the submission of the request; Maine Resident Income Tax Return (Form 1040ME), Driver’s License with the address of the property applicants are requesting stabilization for, Hunting/Fishing License with the address of the property applicants are requesting stabilization for, proof of excise tax paid in the municipality the applicant is applying for, proof of voter registration in the municipality where the applicant is applying and/or other documents proving permanent residence.
• Owned a homestead in Maine for at least 1 year – Ten years of homesteading do not have to be consecutive. If applicants have owned a farm in another municipality, proof of that municipality must be presented at the time of application submission.
• Eligible for a homestead exemption on the property the applicant places in the program.
Where to apply:
Applications are available on the Maine Tax Services website, on the City of Scarborough website: Assessing Dept: Tax Relief, or in person at Scarborough City Hall. You can also call the MRS Property Tax Division at (207) 624-5600 to have an application mailed to you. Complete an application and submit it by December 1, along with any required proof, to the Scarborough Assessor’s office located on the lower level of City Hall. The Assessment Department will review and approve or deny applications.
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