AUGUSTA – A bill from Senate President Troy Jackson, D-Allagash, that would increase property tax relief for Maine veterans earned unanimous approval from the Legislature’s Taxation Committee on Tuesday.
“Increasing property tax relief for our brave servicemen and women is just one way we can repay our gratitude for their service to this country. It will help our younger veterans better transition back into our communities and civilian life while making it easier for our aging veterans to afford to remain in their homes,” said President Jackson. “I’m grateful to the members of the Taxation Committee for coming together in a bipartisan manner to endorse this proposal. I hope the entire Maine Legislature can do the same.”
LD 576, “An Act To Increase Property Tax Relief for Veterans” would increase the exemption amount from $6,000 to $10,000 for eligible Maine veterans and expands the eligibility for the program to more Vietnam veterans. 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. Earlier this year, the Maine Legislature adopted an essential services budget that continues funding for these vital programs.
LD 576 will now go before the full Legislature for consideration.