Frugal and cheap. The two are a pair of different cats in Maine.
Watching your everyday spending for survival, being frugal goes back to living on the farm. Not that long ago we all lived on a patch of dirt with three generations under one roof, working the land. Heating with wood from the hardwood ridge on the back forty acres. Having little money, but no debt. And all our basic needs met with food, shelter, family. Simple, God fearing, grateful for what we do have. Not lamenting what did not.
In Maine, if you are a homeowner, this is the time of year to apply to your local town office for property tax exemptions. Making sure you are eligible and taking advantage of the tax exemptions is not cheap, it’s more of that frugal we were just talking about. That spirit that is ingrained, part of the survival mode to squeeze any excess from our everyday spending to apply to what matters most.
If you are declared legally blind, an individual Maine tax payer is entitled to a $4000 property valuation tax exemption, or reduction.
You need medical documentation to back it up, to present to the local tax assessor. But you have to file prior to April 1 of the year you hope to establish, take advantage of the reduction.
In Maine, if you are a veteran, a widow of a veteran who served during a federally recognized war period and are now 62 or older, you qualify for a $6000 property valuation tax exemption. You may qualify for the same tax reduction if under 62 years of age but with a total service related disability. Again, you have to fill out the paperwork from your Maine tax assessor’s office prior to April 1st to catch the boat, to save the money, to be frugal for the coming year “rebate”.
In Maine, the Homestead Property Tax Exemption is the third available to homeowners. To qualify, be a legal Maine resident, have owned a Maine property for at least a year prior to April 1st. The homestead must be the taxpayer’s permanent residence. You can not claim more than one “homestead” and second homes, vacation lake camps, etc do not qualify for the property tax rebate, or reduction. A $10,000 reduction in your Maine property tax for the homestead tax exemption is available but you have to file the paperwork with the town office where your Maine home is. The state of Maine provides for this tax relief, to help home owners who qualify have an easy time coughing up the property taxes due.
As a Maine real estate broker, I encourage all buyers and sellers I work with to take advantage of the property tax exemptions available. They can be used in combination and help home owners stay in their homes when income is low and every dollar counts to not be forced to move for lack of funds to maintain that ownership.
That’s not cheap…that’s Maine frugal.
What the law provides as a property tax short circuit to preserve Maine home ownership. Here are more details on Maine property tax exemptions. Also the clock is ticking for the up to $8000 tax rebate for Maine home purchases too. Be frugal, scope out the options for first time home buyers and the extra $6500 available for existing home owners who decide to “move up” before the clock alarm goes off, ending the Maine program.