Business Equipment Tax Reimbursement (BETR)
The BETR program is designed to encourage capital investment in Maine. The program reimburses business taxpayers for local personal property taxes paid on most qualified business property. To qualify, qualified business property must have been first placed in service in Maine after April 1, 1995. Applications for the 2020 BETR Program are based on taxes paid in 2019. The application period for refunds of personal property tax paid during 2019 is August 1, 2020 through December 31, 2020. The BETR form is submitted by the Taxpayer to Maine Revenue Services (M.R.S.) for reimbursement. The Taxpayer must first submit the form to the Assessor's Office for verification and signature. Forms are then mailed back to the Taxpayer for submission to M.R.S.
Business Equipment Tax Exemption (BETE)The BETE program is a 100% property tax exemption program for eligible property that would have been first subject to tax in Maine on or after 4/2/07. BETE does not replace the Business Equipment Tax Reimbursement program above. The BETR program remains in place for qualified property placed in service after April 1, 1995 and on or before April 1, 2007 and for retail/service property placed in service after April 1, 1995 . Visit the Maine Revenue Services website for more information, to print the BETE application, review the guidance documents, and the tutorial.
BETE applications are returned to this office (not the State) and are due by May 1st of each year.
MAINE INDIVIDUAL INCOME TAX - PROPERTY TAX FAIRNESS CREDITEligible Maine taxpayers may 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. If the credit exceeds the amount of your individual income tax due for the tax year, the excess amount of credit will be refunded to you.
Who is eligible for the Property Tax Fairness Credit? Homeowners or renters who meet all of the following requirements:
- Were Maine residents during any part of the tax year;
- Owned or rented a home in Maine during any part of the tax year and lived in that home during the year as a primary residence;
- Paid property tax or rent on the primary residence in Maine during the tax year;
- Meet certain income and property tax and/or rent paid limitations during the tax year.
PORTLAND senior tax equity program (p-step)This local program, voted on and approved by Portland City Council in 2017, provides tax relief to low-income seniors in Portland by providing property tax or rent rebates for qualified applicants. Click here for a program overview and frequently asked questions document.
- Applicants must be 62 years of age or older.
- Applicants must have received a Maine Property Tax Fairness Credit in the tax year of the P-STEP application. This credit is claimed when you file your Maine Individual Income Tax using Form 1040ME and Schedule PTFC/STFC. If you do not qualify or did not receive a rebate under the State program, you will not be eligible for the City P-STEP. The City will request confirmation from the State of Maine for rebates received.
- A new application must be filed every year that you are eligible for the program.
- The 2020 tax year application period runs from January 29, 2021 through June, 30 2021. Click here for the application.
Maine HomesTead Exemption Program(Title 36, M.R.S.A. Section 681)
This program provides a measure of property tax relief for certain individuals that have owned homestead property in Maine for at least 12 months and make the property they occupy on April 1 their permanent residence. For the April 1, 2020 tax year, the Maine Legislature revised the amount of the exemption to $25,000 of just value ($19,250 at the 77% assessment ratio). If you have already applied for this program you do not need to apply again on the same property. It is important to note that if you have recently moved or sold your property, you must reapply for the exemption on your new home.
Applications must be received by the tax assessor by April 1 in the year that the exemption is first granted. Applications received after April 1 will not become effective until the following tax year. You can view the Homestead Exemption FAQ's here.
Blind Exemption(Title 36, M.R.S.A. Section 654)
A homeowner who is legally blind as determined by a doctor is eligible for a $4,000 exemption ($3,080 at the 77% assessment ratio) on their property. Applications must be received by the tax assessor by April 1 in the year that the exemption is first granted. Applications received after April 1 will not become effective until the following tax year. Please provide a letter from your licensed Doctor of Medicine, Doctor of Osteopathy or Doctor of Optometry with the application.
Veterans Exemption(Title 36, M.R.S.A. Section 653)
Property owners may be eligible for a reduction in the valuation of their property if they meet one of the following qualifications:
- Maine Resident age 62 on or before April 1, 2021 who served during a recognized war period.
- Receives 100% disability from the VA
- Paraplegic veterans
- Un-remarried widows and/or widowers of qualifying veterans
In all cases, the applicant must fill out an application and provide the Assessor with proof of service (Form DD214). Exemptions (at the 77% assessment ratio) are:
- WWI: $5,390
- WWII or later: $4,620
- Paraplegic Veteran: $38,500 for specially-adapted housing unit
Applications must be received by the tax assessor by April 1 in the year that the exemption is first granted. Applications received after April 1 will not become effective until the following tax year. Please provide a copy of your discharge papers, the DD214, with the application.
SURVIVING SPOUSE, MINOR CHILD or WIDOWED PARENT of a Veteran
Applications must be received by the tax assessor by April 1 in the year that the exemption is first granted. Applications received after April 1 will not become effective until the following tax year. Please provide a copy of the death certificate and discharge papers (DD214) with the application.
Current Land Use Programs
The State of Maine has four "current use" programs that offer the property owner a reduction in assessed value: Farmland, Open Space, Tree Growth, and Working Waterfront. The programs establish valuation of property at its current use, rather than at market value.
All four programs are available to property owners through an application process with the local municipality. Applications must be filed on or before April 1 of the year the reduced valuation is first requested.
Property must meet certain criteria to qualify for each program and any future change in the use of the land will cause disqualification resulting in a penalty.