New Property Tax Deferral Program for Low-Income Seniors & Disabled

There is a new state program designed to help low income seniors and those with disabilities to stay in their homes. Under the Property Tax Deferral Program, if at least one of the homeowners will be 65 years of age or older on April 1 of this year, or unable to be employed by reason of disability, you may qualify to defer payment of the property taxes on your homestead if you meet certain financial guidelines.

Those financial guidelines are:

  • Income of less than $40,000 for the previous calendar year
  • Liquid assets of less than $50,000 for an individual, or less than $75,000 for two people filing jointly
  • The home also has to qualify for the homestead exemption

The state will pay the property taxes to the City of Sanford for those who apply and qualify, for that year’s approved application. However, the state will secure a lien on the residence and interest will accrue. If you move or sell your home, you have to pay the state back, and if you pass away, your heirs will have to pay it back.

This program is actually not new, a similar program existed from 1989-91, but then it expired. State legislators have been working for years to bring it back, and the ARPA funds allocated to Maine by the federal government are now making it possible.

Sanford City Manager Steve Buck said the program is targeted to seniors whose social security is not keeping pace with the cost of living, which gives them an opportunity to stay in home, without having to worry about it until after they are gone or the home is sold.

Filing is simple, it’s just a short two-page form. You have to apply each year by April 1.

To apply please visit https://www.maine.gov/revenue/sites/maine.gov.revenue/files/inline-files/deferral_app.pdf for the form to print out. The form includes additional information. File the form with the Assessor’s Office at City Hall. Print copies of the form are also available there. For additional assistance please call the Assessor’s Office at (207) 324-9115.

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