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  • Maine House Democrats champion real efforts to lower property taxes

     

    Two measures would expand the homestead property tax exemption

    Many Mainers could see a reduced property tax bill thanks to two proposals that seek to expand the Maine Homestead Exemption.

    Rep. Andrew McLean, D-Gorham, introduced legislation Monday to increase the statewide homestead exemption in 2018. 

    “Of all the taxes we use to fund state and local government, the property tax has become the most regressive,” said Rep. McLean. “Homeowners who are trying to make ends meet, particularly the elderly who are on a fixed income, are seeing more and more of their dollars going to pay property taxes. The homestead exemption is a beneficial tool that has alleviated the burden faced by too many Mainers when they pay their property taxes.”

    Under current law, the homestead exemption is set to increase from $15,000 to $20,000 on or after April 1, 2017. Rep. McLean’s bill would increase the total exemption to $30,000 for property tax years beginning on or after April 1, 2018.

    A second measure, submitted by Rep. Anne-Marie Mastraccio, D-Sanford, raises the homestead property tax exemption for Maine’s seniors.

    LD 73 would increase the homestead property tax exemption to $50,000 for persons who are 75 years of age or older. 

    Mastraccio submitted the bill to enable all Mainers, regardless of income, to stay in Maine or age in place.

    “The increase in exemption would kick in at a time when life changes may be impacting a Mainer’s income in a negative way,” said Mastraccio. “This legislation would reward people who choose to stay in Maine as well as help seniors on fixed incomes remain in their homes.”

    Both bills will be scheduled for work sessions in the coming days.

    Rep. Mastraccio is serving her third term in the Maine House and represents part of Sanford. She is the House chair of the Government Oversight Committee and also serves on the Labor, Commerce, Research and Economic Development Committee. 

    Rep. McLean is serving his third term in the Maine House and is the House chair of the Transportation Committee. He represents parts of Gorham and Scarborough.