AUGUSTA – Senate President Troy Jackson of Allagash introduced legislation to increase property tax relief for Maine veterans at a public hearing before the Legislature’s Taxation Committee on Wednesday.
LD 576, “An Act To Increase Property Tax Relief for Veterans” increases the exemption amount from $6,000 to $10,000 for eligible Maine veterans and expands the eligibility for the program to more Vietnam veterans.
“Too often, our servicemen and women struggle to return to civilian life. At the same time, the property taxes in this state are out-of-control,” said President Jackson. “This bill seeks to alleviate the property tax burden and give some modest relief to those who served our country. I’m hopeful that Democrats, Republicans and Independents can come together to pass this measure.”
The proposal is based on amended legislation from President Jackson that received bipartisan support in the Legislature’s Taxation Committee in 2019.
According to the National Conference of State Legislatures, Maine is one of six states where veterans account for ten percent of the population. To qualify for the veterans’ property tax exemption, Maine veterans must have served in a federally recognized war period and be over the age of 62, receiving 100 percent disability as a veteran, or living with 100 percent disability due to their service.
Maine lawmakers have worked to ease the property tax burden for Mainers over the past few years by increasing the Homestead Exemption Program, expanding the Property Tax Fairness Credit and gradually restoring the municipal revenue sharing program. In 2019, lawmakers increased the Homestead Exemption Program to $25,000 and expanded the Property Tax Fairness Credit to cover an additional 13,000 Mainers. Last week, the Maine Legislature adopted an essential services budget that continues funding for these vital programs.
LD 576 faces additional work sessions in committee.