2017-02-23 / Letters

Tax relief programs are available

To the editor:

Saco Citizens for Sensible Government wants to provide some information on various programs for tax relief either through the state or city of Saco.

The Homestead Act grants tax relief to homeowners by reducing the taxable assessment on your primary residence. Effective April 1, the amount is $20,000. Applications must be submitted to the assessing department prior to April 1.

To obtain the benefit, two major qualifications are required. First, it must be the homeowner’s primary residence. Secondly, the resident must have owned the home for one year prior to applying for the exemption.

Residents who do not participate in the tax relief programs will not receive any tax benefit. Please verify with the assessor’s office if you are enrolled at 282-1611.

Two additional property tax relief programs are available in Maine. One is for veterans, the other is the property fairness credit program. The application for these programs and the Homestead Act can be found on the Maine Revenue page: http://www.maine.gov/revenue/ taxrelief/homepage.html.

The city of Saco offers two tax relief programs: Senior Volunteer Tax Work-off Program and EZ Pay.

The program for seniors connects residents within Saco city departments. Application must be obtained as soon as possible, as the closing date will be March 24. This provides an opportunity for property tax relief for seniors in the form of a credit toward their tax bill. Additional details can be obtained from the assessing department at 282-1611 or at this link: http://www.sacomaine.org/ departments/assessor/senior_ tax_ relief_ program.php.

Saco EZ Pay is an option allowing payments to be spread out over eight months. Taxpayers should contact the finance department to learn more about this program at 282-1032 or view information at this link: http://www.sacomaine.org/Administration/Policies/EZ%20Pay%20 Policy.pdf.

For any additional questions, please send an email to sacocitizenssensiblegovernment.org. The group hopes this provides some residents of Saco financial options with their taxes.

John Harkins, chairman Saco Citizens for Sensible Government

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