(Title 36, M.R.S.A. Sections 651-678)
There are several classes of exempt property (property upon which real estate taxes need not be paid) such as government-owned property. In addition, several other personal exemptions exist;
Homestead Exemption – The 1998 Legislature enacted a new law giving homeowners some property tax relief. Under this law, homeowners are eligible for up to a $15,000 reduction in their permanent residence’s property valuation. If you have owned a home in Maine for 12 months prior to April first, you may apply for this program. Forms are available on this site and at the Tax Assessor’s office.
Veteran’s Exemption – (Title 36, M.R.S.A. Section 653) A property owner may be eligible for a reduction in the valuation of their property if they:
- Own a residence in Waterville on April 1 of the tax year in question
- Are a veteran who is not dishonorably discharged
- Served during a recognized war period in the U.S. Armed Forces
- Are over the age of 62 -or- Are an unremarried widow of a qualifying veteran
If the veteran is under 62 but is 100% disabled due to a service-connected disability, he/she might likewise qualify. In any case the veteran must fill out a form and provide proof of service and discharge, such as a copy of their DD214 form.
For veterans who served during World War II or later, the exemption is $6,000. For veterans serving prior, the exemption is $7,000. Paraplegic veterans may receive an exemption of $50,000 for a specially-adapted housing unit.
Forms are available on this site and at the Tax Assessor’s office.
Blind Exemption – (Title 36, M.R.S.A. Section 654) The residential real estate of residents who are legally blind as determined by the Department of Education Division for the Blind and Visually Impaired may be exempt up to the just value of $4,000.
Applications for this exemption are available in the Assessor’s Office.
(Title 36, M.R.S.A. Sections 841-850) Abatements are reductions in one’s property tax bill. They are granted when the Assessor discovers an error in assessment or if the owner points such an error out. If the owner believes that the current value placed on their property is inaccurate, unfair, or overvalued relative to the current real estate market, they may take the following steps, in order:
- Review the property record card (available in the Assessor’s office) to assure the accuracy of its data
- Check sale prices of similar homes
- Provide evidence to the Assessor that the property is overvalued
- Request a valuation review by the Assessor
- Make a formal abatement request if not satisfied by the Assessor
- Make a formal appeal to the local Board of Assessment Review.
The property owner has 185 days from the commitment date (which is usually around the second week of August) to file a formal abatement request. The Assessor may abate current fiscal year taxes only. The Council may consider the two prior fiscal years, but only to correct an illegality, error, irregularity in assessment. They may not grant an abatement to correct an error in valuation of property.
Abatement Applications are available in the Assessor’s Office. To request an Abatement of Property Taxes by Reason of Infirmity or Poverty, click here.
In making a formal abatement appeal the assessment is presumed valid and the burden is on the taxpayer to show that it is manifestly wrong in relation to just value. CMP v Town of Moscow, 649 A.2d 320 (ME.1994)