April 6, 2023

Introducing the Maine Property Tax Deferral Initiative

In January 2022, Maine introduced the Maine Property Tax Deferral Initiative, a critical loan program established under the Governor’s Maine Jobs & Recovery Plan. This program helps eligible Maine residents aged 65 and above or those who are permanently disabled and unable to pay their yearly property taxes. The initiative aims to support Maine’s most vulnerable citizens by enabling them to continue living in their homes while also ensuring that municipalities receive necessary property tax revenues. The loan must be repaid once the property is sold or becomes part of an estate.

Common Questions

What is the Maine Property Tax Deferral Initiative? The initiative is a program that enables specific individuals to defer (delay) payment of property taxes on their primary residences until they pass away, relocate, or sell their property. During the tax deferral period, the State reimburses the municipality for the deferred taxes. The deferred tax, along with interest, must be repaid to the State by the individual or their estate when they pass away, move, sell the property, or transfer the property (if a mobile or floating home) out of Maine.

Who is eligible for the program? To qualify, you must be at least 65 years old or unable to work due to a disability. Additionally, you must have an income of less than $40,000 and liquid assets of less than $50,000 (or $75,000 if filing a joint application).

Does my property qualify for the program? To be eligible, you must own and occupy the property as your primary residence and receive a homestead exemption on the property. The deferral covers your principal residence and up to 10 contiguous acres. If your homestead is within a multi-unit building, the qualifying property is the portion of the building used as your primary dwelling plus a percentage of the value of the common areas and land where the building stands.

When must I repay the deferred taxes? You may request removal from the program at any time and be responsible for repaying all deferred taxes plus interest. The following events also necessitate removal from the program and repayment of tax and interest on all deferred years:

  • Your passing;
  • Selling your homestead;
  • No longer using the property as your homestead, except for health-related absences; or
  • Removing a mobile or floating home from the State.

How to Apply

Property owners in seeking to join the program must submit their applications to the Assessing Department between January 1 and April 1. The Assessor will verify certain information before forwarding the application to Maine Revenue Services (MRS) for review. MRS may request additional details to confirm your eligibility.

Upon approval, you can continue deferring property taxes on your homestead in subsequent years, provided there is no change in circumstances leading to disqualification or removal.