State Property Tax Deferral Program
In January 2022, the State of Maine launched the State Property Tax Deferral Program, a lifeline loan program through the Governor’s Maine Jobs & Recovery Plan that can cover the annual property tax bills of eligible Maine people who are ages 65 and older or are permanently disabled and who cannot afford to pay them on their own. The loan program will allow Maine’s most vulnerable community members to age in place and ensure that property taxes are still delivered to municipalities. The program requires repayment of the loan once the property is sold or becomes part of an estate.
Frequently Asked Questions
What is the State Property Tax Deferral Program?
The State Property Tax Deferral Program is a program that allows certain individuals to defer (postpone) payment of the property taxes on their homesteads until they pass away, move, or sell their property. During the period when the taxes are being deferred, the State reimburses the municipality for the deferred taxes. The deferred tax, plus interest, is then required to be repaid to the State by the individual or their estate when they pass away, move, sell the property, or move the property (if mobile or floating home) out of Maine.
Who qualifies for the program?
To be eligible for the program, you must be at least 65 years old or unable to work due to a disability. In addition, you must have income of less than $40,000 and liquid assets of less than $50,000 (or $75,000 if filing a joint application).
Does my property qualify for the program?
In addition to the requirements above, to be eligible for the program you must own and occupy the property as your principal residence, and you must be receiving a homestead exemption on the property. Property eligible for deferral includes both your principal residence plus up to 10 contiguous acres. If your homestead is located in a multi-unit building, the eligible property is the portion of the building used as your principal dwelling plus the percentage of the value of the common areas and the land on which the building is located.
When do I have to repay the deferred taxes?
You can request that your property be removed from the program at any time. You will be responsible for paying all of the deferred taxes plus interest when the property is removed. In addition, any of the following repayment events will also require removal of the property from the program and you or your estate will be required to repay the tax and interest on all deferred years:
- You pass away;
- You sell the homestead;
- You no longer use the property as your homestead, unless you are absent for health reasons; or
- In the case of a mobile or floating home, you remove the property from the State.
How to Apply
Biddeford property owners who apply to the program must submit their application to the Assessing Department between January 1 and April 1. The Assessor will verify certain information, then forward the application to Maine Revenue Services for review. MRS may request additional information from you to confirm your eligibility for the program.
Once your application is approved, you may continue to defer the property taxes on your homestead in future years as long as there is no change in circumstances that might lead to disqualification or removal.