Eves’ bill to boost Maine’s Property Tax Credit gets final approval

BY RAMONA DU HOUX

April 17th, 2014 

Rep. Mark  Eves answers questions from the press. Photo by Ramona du Houx

Rep. Mark Eves answers questions from the press. Photo by Ramona du Houx

A measure that would bolster the state’s property tax fairness credit for Maine families will be sent to the Governor for his signature. The Maine Senate on Wednesday night gave final approval to the bill, LD 1751.

“This is fantastic news for Maine families struggling to keep up with rising property taxes,” said bill sponsor Speaker of the House Mark Eves. “By increasing this credit, we will be putting more money back in the pockets of middle and low income families and seniors.”

If the bill becomes law, property tax credits for low and middle income residents under age 65 will double from $300 to $600 and increase from $400 to $900 for filers 65 years of age and older. The measure also expands eligibility to more renters., “Unlike tax cuts for the wealthy, this is the kind of tax credit that puts more money in the hands of folks who will spend it locally,” said Rep. Adam Goode, the House Chair of the Taxation Committee.

The budget proposed by Governor Paul LePage last year eliminated a key property tax relief program referred to as “Circuit Breaker” for residents under 65 with the exception of veterans. The bipartisan budget passed by a super majority of the Legislature contained a compromise that sought to provide broad property tax relief to as many Maine families as possible, but had to do so at a lower dollar amount.

Eves’ bill aims to boost the new credit.

The Governor has ten days to sign or veto the bill or it will become law without his signature.