Sen. Bailey introduces legislation to help towns support veterans

Posted: March 18, 2021 | Senator Bailey

AUGUSTA — On Thursday, Sen. Donna Bailey, D-Saco, introduced LD 191, “An Act To Permit Municipalities To Provide Assistance to Veterans in Paying Property Taxes.” The bill was the subject of a public hearing before the Legislature’s Taxation Committee.

Sen. Donna Bailey

“We want to give veterans the maximum tax credit,” said Sen. Bailey, “regardless of any changes in the market value of the municipality in which they reside. LD 191 grants us another opportunity to support veterans in our state and to encourage their home ownership.”

LD 191 would 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. 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.

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 myself 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.”

The bill faces further action in committee.