2017-02-23 / Letters to the Editor

Tax relief programs available

Saco Citizens for Sensible Government wants to provide some information on various programs for tax relief either through the State or City of Saco.

The Homestead Act - for residents unfamiliar with this program, the act grants tax relief to homeowners by reducing the taxable assessment on your primary residence. Effective April 1, 2017, the amount is $20,000. Important: applications must be submitted to the assessing department prior to April 1, 2017.

To obtain the benefit, two major qualifications are required. First, it must be the homeowner’s primary residence. Secondly, the resident must have owned the home for one year prior to applying for the exemption.

Residents who do not participate in the tax relief programs will not receive any tax benefit. Please verify with the assessor’s office if you are enrolled at 282-1611.

Two additional property tax relief programs are available in Maine. One is for veterans; the other, property fairness credit program. The application for these programs and the Homestead Act can be found on the Maine Revenue page: http://www.maine.gov/revenue/taxrelief/homepage.html.

The City of Saco offers two tax relief programs: Senior Volunteer Tax Work-off Program and EZ Pay.

The Senior Citizens program connects citizens within Saco City departments. Application must be obtained as soon as possible, as the closing date will be March 24, 2017. This provides an opportunity for property tax relief for senior citizens in the form of a credit towards their tax bill.

Additional details can be obtained from the Assessing Department at 282-1611 or at this link: http://www.sacomaine.org/departments/assessor/senior_tax_relief_program.php

Saco EZ Pay is an option allowing payments to be spread out over eight months. Taxpayer should contact the Finance Department to learn more about this program at 282-1032 or view information at this link: http://www.sacomaine.org/Administration/Policies/EZ%20Pay%20Policy.pdf

For any additional questions, please send an email to sacocitizenssensiblegovernment.org. SCSG hopes this provides some citizens of Saco financial options with their taxes.

John Harkins, chairperson

Saco Citizens for Sensible Government

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