AUGUSTA – On Wednesday, the Maine Senate unanimously approved a bill from Senate President Troy Jackson, D-Allagash, that would increase property tax relief for Maine veterans.
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.
“This past weekend, Mainers all across the state paid tribute to the fallen men and women who dedicated their lives to this state and country. While we can never repay them for their service, we can double down on our commitment to do right by Maine veterans who have safely returned home,” said President Jackson. “By expanding property tax relief for Maine veterans, we can help folks afford to return home to their family, friends and beloved community. I’m grateful that we could come together as Democrats and Republicans pass this bill in the Senate. I’m hopeful the House will do the same.”
The proposal also expands eligibility for the program to more Vietnam veterans. The amended legislation earned unanimous bipartisan support from the Legislature’s Taxation Committee earlier this year.
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 to the House for additional votes.