Committee unanimously approves Sen. Bailey bill to help towns support veterans
AUGUSTA — On Friday, the Legislature’s Taxation Committee approved a bill from Sen. Donna Bailey, D-Saco, to allow municipalities to opt in to a program that benefits veterans by keeping their property tax rate credits at a steady rate, unaffected by the change in a town or city’s valuation. LD 191, “An Act To Permit Municipalities To Provide Assistance to Veterans in Paying Property Taxes,” was voted out of committee unanimously as Ought to Pass as Amended.
“We want to give veterans the maximum tax credit, regardless of any changes in the market value of the municipality in which they reside,” said Sen. Bailey. “LD 191 grants us another opportunity to support veterans in our state and to encourage their home ownership. I’m grateful to receive the support of the Taxation Committee.”
In LD 191, each municipality that chooses to adopt this voluntary program would determine what the appropriate length of time of homeownership is before veterans can receive this benefit. The State’s share of taxes would not change. Veterans who are renters would receive a $100 annual benefit. The amended version changes the definition of “homestead” in the bill’s text.
Senate President Troy Jackson, D-Allagash, a co-sponsor of this bill, said: “Over the past several years, we have heard from Mainers all over the state that have been struggling with high property taxes. This burden has made it more difficult for seniors and working-class Mainers to stay in their homes and life with some sense of comfort and peace of mind. That’s why easing the property tax burden has been a top priority for me and many of my colleagues. I’m proud of the progress we have made, but it’s clear that there is always more work to do. This bill gives an additional option for municipalities to provide property tax relief to veterans in Maine who have served our country.”
LD 191 faces votes in the Senate and House.