What is Maine's Law on Homestead Exemption
In Maine, up to $10,000 of the homestead of a permanent resident who has owned a homestead in Maine for the last 12 months is exempt from taxation (36 MRS §683). This is known as the homestead exemption. The exemption may not exceed $10,000 even if the title to the homestead is held jointly or in common with others, but it may be apportioned among the owners who reside on the property (36 MRS §683). Also, the actual amount exempted may be adjusted depending on the just value of the property (36 MRS §683). PL 2019, c. 343, §H-2 provides for additional exemptions in 2019 ($10,000) and 2020 ($15,000). See 36 MRS §683(1-B).
What is a homestead?
A homestead is “any residential property, including cooperative property, in this State assessed as real property owned by an applicant or held in a revocable living trust for the benefit of the applicant and occupied by the applicant as the applicant’s permanent residence or owned by a cooperative housing corporation and occupied as a permanent residence by resident who is a qualifying shareholder.” (36 MRS §681)
What does a homestead not include?
A homestead “does not include any real property used solely for commercial purposes.” (36 MRS §681)
What is “just value”?
Just value is defined in the statutes as “only that value arising from presently possible land use alternatives to which the particular parcel of land being valued may be put.” (36 MRS §701-A)
What is a permanent residence?
A permanent residence “means that place where an individual has a true, fixed and permanent home and principal establishment to which the individual, whenever absent, has the intention of returning.” (36 MRS §681).
Can I have more than one permanent residence?
Maine law states that “an individual may have only one permanent residence at a time.” (36 MRS §681)
Who determines if I have a permanent residence in this state?
Maine law states the assessor determines if an applicant for a homestead exemption has a permanent residence in Maine. The assessor may consider formal declarations, informal statements, place of employment, previous permanent residence, voter registration, driver’s license, certificate of motor vehicle registration, income tax returns, motor vehicle excise tax and military residence (36 MRS §682)
When do I apply for the homestead exemption?
The application must be filed on or before April 1st of the year on which the taxes are based. (36 MRS §684)
What if I move?
Any property owned who receives a homestead exemption “shall notify the assessor promptly when the ownership or use of the property changes so as to change the qualification of the property for an exemption.” (36 MRS §684)
For more information on homestead exemptions or an application, see the website at Maine Revenue Services or contact your municipal assessor’s office.
7/12/2019 A-Z List