The Maine Homestead Exemption may lower your property tax bill. It makes it so the town won't count $20,000 of value of your home for property tax purposes. You can qualify if you have owned your home in Maine for at least 12 months. It doesn't matter if you sold one home and moved to another. You just have to show you owned a home for the 12 month period.
How to apply
The application is quick and easy. Answer a few questions about your home and how long you have lived there. Then send this application to your town officials by April 1st. If you apply after April 1st the exemption would apply for the next tax year. That's all you have to do. Apply once and you should not have to apply again unless you move. When your town mails your tax bill, $20,000 of your home's value will be exempt from property taxes.
How does it work?
The money you save will depend upon the tax rate for your town. Property taxes are based on the tax value of your home. If you are found eligible, the town will reduce your home's tax value by $20,000 before applying the tax rate.
- Carla owns a home in Maine.
- Her town’s property tax (mill rate) is $10 per $1,000 of home value.
- Meaning the tax rate is 1%
- The town values her home at $110,000.
- Without the exemption Carla owes $1,100 in property taxes.
If Carla claims the exemption, the town will subtract $20,000 from Carla's home value before figuring the tax. The new tax value is just $90,000. Now Carla will owe $900 in property tax. Carla saves $200 a year with the exemption.
Will I get money back from the state?
Maybe! Starting in 2019, homeowners who have received the homestead exemption will be eligible to get payments of $100 or more from the Property Tax Relief Fund for Maine Residents. This may not happen every year - the payments are not guaranteed. This is because the payments come from extra money in Maine's 'general fund' - and homeowners will only get checks if there is enough extra money so that each homeowner with a homestead exemption will get at least $100. If there is not enough money in the fund, homeowners will not get payments.
Some other important things to know about this program:
- You must get a homestead exemption to be eligible. Learn if you qualify for Maine's homestead exemption, and how to apply.
- You must apply for the homestead exemption by April 1st to get the benefit of the homestead exemption, and also this payment program, for that tax year.
- If you apply for the homestead exemption in November, 2019 you won't get these benefits for tax year 2019 - but you can get the benefits for the next tax year, 2020.
- The State of Maine will determine if there is enough money in the fund to make payments by November 15th of each year.
- If there is enough money in the fund, payments will be sent in January and February of the next year.
- You don't have to do anything other than have a homestead exemption. There is no extra application or sign-up for this program.
What if I'm in the military?
Active duty military personnel may get this exemption if they both:
- Own a home in Maine and
- Are permanently stationed in Maine.
If you serve in the military, you need to fill out the application. You must also get a letter from your superior saying you are stationed in Maine.
Members of the National Guard and Army Reserves are not eligible, unless they are Maine residents.
We post an interactive version of the State's form that you can fill out online, then print.
Or you can go to the State of Maine website to get a blank form.
Once you have completed the form, file it with your town office or city property tax department. Find local government contact information here.
Updated October 2019