Friday, August 13, 2010

Property Tax Relief Program Available

State Reps. Kathleen Chase (R-Wells), Windol Weaver (R-York) and Sally Lewin (R-Eliot) want to alert area residents that the application period for Maine’s Property Tax and Rent Refund Program opened Aug. 1 for taxes and rent paid during 2009. Under this program, commonly known as the “circuit breaker,” Mainers who qualify are eligible for refunds of up to $1,600. It is the state government’s primary program to provide property tax relief.
Under the guidelines, you may qualify for a refund if you do not have a spouse or dependents and your 2009 income was $64,950 or less. If you have a spouse or dependents, you could have made up to $86,600 in 2009 and still qualify. Also, to receive a refund, your 2009 property tax must have exceeded four percent of your income. It is important to remember that this is tax relief to which you are entitled, not welfare.
Renters qualify if the rent they paid in 2009 exceeded twenty percent of their income. Seniors do not need to meet this property tax or rent requirement if their household income was below $14,700 for those living alone or below $18,200 for those living with a spouse or dependent.
The application is available online through the Maine Revenue Services (MRS) website at In addition to a copy of the paper application, which you may print out and mail to MRS, you will find a link to the online application site. Online applications are easier for you, as they automatically perform all necessary calculations; and they cost less to process.