AUGUSTA – The Maine House of Representatives today gave bipartisan approval to LD 1713,  “An Act To Return Funds to Maine Property Tax Payers”, voting 93-51 in favor of the bill. Introduced by Speaker Sara Gideon, the bill repurposes an existing tax relief fund and creates the “Property Tax Relief Fund for Maine Residents,” and requires the fund to provide property tax relief payments directly to residents of Maine whose residence qualifies for an exemption under the Maine homestead property tax exemption.

                “It’s clear that Mainers are feeling the burden of high property taxes,” said Speaker Sara Gideon. “For some Mainers, it means they can’t expand their businesses or make improvements to their homes. For others, that burden is more than they can bear and still hope to remain in their homes—and that’s especially true for our seniors. But whenever we have the opportunity to help the people of our State in a way that will, without a doubt, make their lives easier, we should seize it. Passing this bill and providing Mainers directly with the relief they need is one of those opportunities.”

LD 1713 repurposes the existing “Tax Relief Fund for Maine Residents,” creates  the “Property Tax Relief Fund for Maine Residents,” and requires it to provide property tax relief payments directly to residents of this State whose residence qualifies for an exemption under the Maine homestead property tax exemption. The amount of the tax relief payment would be determined annually by dividing the total amount of funds available in the Fund by the total number of homesteads that qualify for the Maine homestead property tax exemption. If that amount is at least $100, the Treasurer of the State will be required to mail checks or issue funds via direct deposit for the tax relief payment to each qualifying homeowner by March 1st of each year.

The bill now moves to the Senate and faces additional votes in both Chambers.

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