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Governor Mills Announces $3.5 Million in Lifeline Loans to Cover the Property Tax Bills of Older or Disabled Maine People

Governor Mills Announces $3.5 Million in Lifeline Loans to Cover the Property Tax Bills of Older or Disabled Maine People
Written by Publishing Team

As rising home values ​​burden fixed-income Maine residents, an initiative from the Maine Jobs & Recovery Plan will help pay property tax bills for Maine seniors and those with permanent disabilities

Janet Mills announced today that her administration is launching the state’s property tax deferral program, a lifeline loan program through the Governor’s Jobs and Recovery Plan that can cover annual property tax bills for eligible people in Maine age 65 or older or who are permanently disabled. And who can’t pay for them themselves. The loan program will allow Maine’s most vulnerable community members to age and ensure that property taxes continue to be handed over to municipalities. The program requires the loan to be repaid once the property is sold or becomes part of a property.

The state property tax deferral program was modeled on a similar expired program from the 1990s, this time funded with $3.5 million from the US federal bailout through the Governor’s Jobs and Recovery Plan. It complements an additional investment in a $60 million Maine Jobs & Recovery Plan to build more housing for Maine residents. Maine’s Plan of Jobs and Recovery initiatives together can help address Maine’s growing real estate market, which is making housing more difficult to afford and threatening to displace renters, working-class families, senior citizens, and those with permanent disabilities from stable housing opportunities.

“Older Maine residents and people with disabilities deserve to live and age in the comfort of their own home without worrying that they will lose them because they can’t afford the property taxes,” Governor Janet Mills said:. “This program through the Maine Jobs and Recovery Plan provides people with peace of mind so that they can age safely in their own homes. My administration will continue to work with the legislature to address property taxes, increase housing availability, and ensure that all Maine residents, regardless of age or income, are able to have a safe and stable place to call home in our state.”

“The government property tax deferral program can help seniors or people with disabilities who have no other choice to pay their property taxes, allowing people to stay in their homes, without disrupting local budgets,” Kirsten Figueroa, Commissioner for Administrative and Financial Services, said:. “We are working with the municipalities of Maine to process applications and payments for the current tax year.”

“I hear from a lot of people in Maine who tell me that their property taxes are too high, and they’re increasing. This problem is especially difficult for retired and disabled people with fixed incomes. That’s why I first sponsored a bill to reinstate the property tax deferral program years ago, at the commission Legislative No. 128”, Senator Donna Bailey said. “After years of fighting for this program and the relief it would bring to thousands of Maine residents, I was proud to see it finally become law. As long as I have been at State House, I will continue to fight for measures that will provide real relief to real people.”

“While everyone wants to age in their home for as long as possible, far too many seniors on fixed incomes are forced to leave their homes because they cannot afford property taxes. The state property tax deferral program formulates an ingenious solution to this problem,” Jes Maurer, executive director of the Maine Council on Aging, said:. “Governor Mills and the Legislature, particularly Patron Senator Donna Bailey, deserve commendation for creating a self-sustaining program that works for all, especially seniors staying at home Maine.”

Municipal leaders commend Governor Mills and members of the legislature for reinstating Maine’s property tax deferral program. This program will help eligible residents to stay in their homes, without placing additional burdens on property taxpayers,” James Bennett, President of the Maine Municipal Association and Bedford City Manager. “The adoption of this program, along with government funding of 55 percent of education expenditures from kindergarten through the end of secondary education, the redistribution of municipal revenue sharing to 5 percent of state sales and income tax revenues, as well as a gradual increase in state reimbursement under the program Housing Waiver. State Commitment to Reduce Real Estate Taxpayer Burdens. This is a much-needed and welcome investment in Maine’s communities.”

The governor has also increased housing opportunities for older Maine residents, signing in 2019 a voter-approved $15 million senior housing bond held by her predecessor. The governor also signed into law the single largest government investment in housing in Maine’s history, and recently launched the cornerstone for a major new housing project resulting from this act.

The state property tax deferral program builds on this business by paying Maine municipal property tax bills for any primary residence the owner occupies as long as the owner is 65 or older and/or permanently disabled, earns less than $40,000 a year, and has Less than $50,000 liquid assets (or less than $75,000 if you apply in a joint application). Eligibility criteria and complete applications can be obtained via Maine Revenue Services.

Property owners must submit applications to the municipality in which they live. Municipalities will work directly with Maine Revenue Services, a division of the Department of Administrative and Financial Services, to process applications and related payments.

In order to maintain the state’s property tax deferral program indefinitely, in addition to the original allocation of $3.5 million in federal funds, any property tax bills covered by the program will be paid when the property is sold or becomes part of an estate.

In addition to the state property tax deferral program under the Maine Jobs & Recovery Plan, the Mills Department has consistently provided tax relief to Maine individuals by:

The Maine Jobs & Recovery Plan is the governor’s plan, approved by the legislature, to invest nearly $1 billion in US federal bailout funds to achieve three goals: immediate economic recovery from the pandemic; Maine’s long-term economic growth; and revitalizing the infrastructure.

He relies heavily on the recommendations of the Governor’s Economic Recovery Commission and the state’s 10-year economic development strategy, turning them into real action to improve the lives of Maine’s residents and boost the economy.

The jobs plan is being funded by the US Federal Rescue Plan Act, which earmarked $4.5 billion in stimulus money for Maine in 2021.

Job plan coordination is led by the Maine Department of Administrative and Financial Services and the Governor’s Office for Policy Innovation and the Future, through the new Maine Office of Jobs and Recovery Plan.

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