The following programs offer a reduction in the taxable value of property. The filing deadline is April 1 of the first year in which exemption is requested. Applications can be submitted to the Assessor's Office in person, by mail, or by email to firstname.lastname@example.org
Homestead Property Tax Exemption
This program provides a measure of property tax relief for certain individuals that have owned and occupied homestead property in Maine as their permanent residence for at least 12 months as of April 1. Property owners would be eligible for an exemption of $25,000 (at 100% assessment ratio).
Proof of residency (1 or more): file Maine income tax return, driver's license, hunting or fishing license, voter registration, motor vehicle excise tax payment.
Veteran Property Tax Exemption
A veteran who served during a recognized war period and is 62 years of age or older; or, is receiving 100% disability as a veteran; or, became 100% disabled while serving, is eligible for an exemption of $6,000 (at 100% assessment ratio). Paraplegic veteran who received a federal grant for a specially adapted housing unit is eligible for an exemption of $50,000 (at 100% assessment ratio).
Proof of eligibility: A copy of your Certificate of Release or Discharge from Active Duty (DD Form 214 or similar form issued by the Department of Defense) or the benefit summary letter issued by the Department of Veteran Affairs ("VA"). A copy of VA Form 20-5455 may be used if you do not have a benefit summary letter.
Please note: In 2022, the Maine Legislature enacted an expanded benefit for veterans through the Property Tax Fairness credit. While the benefit is based on the property tax paid by veterans, the benefit is administered through the individual income tax. For more information, see the Property Tax Fairness credit.
Legally Blind Tax Exemption
A homeowner who is legally blind as determined by a licensed Doctor of Medicine, Osteopathy, or Optometry is eligible for an exemption of $4,000 (at 100% assessment ratio). Property conveyed to a blind person only for the purpose of receiving this exemption is not eligible.
Renewable Energy Investment Exemption
This property exempts eligible renewable energy equipment, such as solar panels, from property tax.
Residential Solar Eligibility: 100% of the energy produced is consumed at the location of the array; or, the customer received a net energy billing credit.
Commercial Solar Eligibility: A solar farm with a nameplate capacity of less than 5 MW qualifies for exemption if it receives a net metering credit pursuant to 35-A M.R.S. §§ 3209-A and 3209-B; or, a solar array of any size is eligible if 100% of the energy produced is consumed at the location of the array.
Property of Institutions and Organizations
Maine law provides property tax exemptions for certain charitable and benevolent or literary and scientific institutions to file for tax exemption on qualified properties.
Charitable Defined: The Maine Supreme Court has defined benevolent and charitable as: "for the benefit of an indefinite number of persons, either by bringing their minds or hearts under the influence of education or religion, by relieving their bodies from disease, suffering, or constraint, by assisting them to establish themselves in life, or by erecting or maintaining public buildings or works or otherwise lessening the burdens of government." Episcopal Camp Foundation v. Hope (1995) 666 A.2d 108.
- Ownership: An institution must own the property for which exemption is requested. A property deed will show ownership.
- Occupancy & Use: An institution must occupy and use the property for the purpose for which the organization was created.
- Incorporation: An institution must be incorporated by the Stat of Maine.
- Profit: Directors, trustees, officers, and employees must not receive a portion of the institutions profit.
- Financial Report: An institution claiming exemption must file a report detailing the institution's preceding fiscal year.
The following programs offer property tax assistance to individuals who meet certain age, residency, and/or income requirements. Special attention should be paid to filing requirements and deadlines for each specific program.
Senior Property Tax Assistance
The Property Tax Assistance Ordinance was adopted by the Town Council on December 3, 2018. This program is designed to provide financial assistance to renters and property taxpayers who have resided in Brunswick for at least 10 years and are age 68 or older.
Additional requirements: The applicant has received a tax credit under the provisions of the Property Tax Fairness credit program, the applicant has received the Homestead Exemption for the year in which the rebate is requested (if property owner), the applicant has paid taxes in full through the date of application (if property owner).
Filing deadline: November 1 each year rebate is requested.
Watch this video for more information:
Property Tax Stabilization
As a result of recent changes in the law, the Tax Stabilization Program will only apply to the property tax year beginning April 1, 2023. However, this same legislation has expanded the eligibility thresholds for participation in the Property Tax Deferral Program and increased the maximum benefit available under the Property Tax Fairness Credit for those ages 65 and older.
Property Tax Deferral
The State Property Tax Deferral Program is a lifeline loan program that can cover the annual property tax bills of Maine people who are ages 65 and older or are permanently disabled and who cannot afford to pay them on their own. The loan program allows Maine's most vulnerable community members to age in place and ensures that property taxes are still delivered to municipalities, requiring repayment of the loan once the property is sold or becomes part of an estate.
For more information on the program click here.
Property Tax Fairness Credit
Eligible 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.
For more information on the program click here.
Constitutional law allows for special treatment of certain property based on its current use rather than its highest and best use. Theof the first year in which classification is requested. Once classified, any change in use or withdrawal results in a supplemental tax penalty.
Tree Growth Tax Law (Title 36 M.R.S.A. §571-584-A)
The Maine Tree Growth Tax Law provides for the valuation of land that has been classified as forest land on the basis of productivity value, rather than on just value. To qualify, a land owner must:
- Have at least ten(10) acres of forest land.
- Use the land primarily for the growth of trees to be harvested for commercial use.
- Submit a forest management and harvest plan prepared by a licensed forester.
- Have unanimous, written consent from all owners of the parcel.
Farmland Tax Law (Title 36 M.R.S.A. §1101-1121)
The Farmland Tax Law was adopted to encourage the preservation and protection of farmland from competing, higher-valued uses. The farmland program provides for the valuation of farmland based on its current use as farmland, rather than based on its fair market value for other potential uses. To qualify, a landowner must:
- Have at least five(5) contiguous acres.
- Use the land primarily for farming activities.
- Produce a gross income of at least $2,000 in one(1) of the two(2) or three(3) of the five(5) last calendar years preceding the date of application.
- Once qualified, file an income report by April 1 of each fifth(5) year stating the income of the previous five(5) years.
Open Space Tax Law (Title 36 M.R.S.A. §1101-1121)
The Open Space Tax Law provides for the valuation of land based on its current use as open space, rather than its highest and best use. To qualify, a landowner must:
- Preserve or restrict the land to provide a public benefit by conserving scenic resources, enhancing public recreation opportunities, promoting game management, or preserving wildlife or wildlife habitat.
Working Waterfront Tax Law (Title 36 M.R.S.A. §1131-1140-B)
The Working Waterfront Tax Law was enacted to encourage the preservation of Maine's working waterfront and is intended to support commercial fishing activities. To qualify, a landowner must:
- Have a parcel of land abutting tidal waters.
- Use the land primarily (more than 50%) for commercial fishing activities.