Chenette introduces bill to freeze property taxes for seniors

Posted: April 10, 2019 | Senator Chenette, Taxation

Senator Justin Chenette, D-Saco

On Wednesday, Sen. Justin Chenette, D-Saco, introduced a bill before the Legislature’s Taxation Committee that would freeze the property tax rates for Maine seniors.

LD 812, “An Act To Stabilize Property Taxes on Homesteads of Individuals Who Are 66 Years of Age or Older,” would allow older Maine residents to stabilize their property taxes to provide consistency for those on fixed incomes.

“Social Security isn’t increasing at the same rate as property taxes are climbing. If you combine higher costs for everything from food, transportation, electricity and prescription drugs, seniors are increasingly in dire situations,” said Sen. Chenette. “I’m getting phone calls from seniors who can’t afford to stay in their homes. It breaks my heart to hear their stories, and this bill complements existing property tax relief programs to keep seniors in their homes.”

This bill would make it optional for municipalities to offer such a program to its residents. Individuals would have to qualify for the property tax fairness credit in order to take advantage of locking in rates, ensuring that those who are in need the most get the reduction. The difference in property tax would be paid by the State to the municipality.

LD 812 faces further action in the Taxation Committee as well as votes in the Maine House and the Senate.