|Contact:||Ed Hodgins, CMA (Assessors’ Agent)|
|Monday, November 13||8:00 am – 4:00 pm|
|Thursday, November 30||8:00 am – 4:00 pm|
To all persons liable for taxation in the Town of Bowdoin, you are hereby notified to provide the Assessor’s a true and perfect list of estates, not by law exempt from taxation in your possession on April 1st. A form reporting such list is included in the Town Report.
Profile of Services
Annually, the Assessor’s Office reviews valuations and makes adjustments to the valuations that include any additions and deletions. The department is also responsible for maintaining accurate records of property ownership. Part of the assessment process includes conducting an annual “ratio study”, which compares the actual selling price of property to assessments. The most recent study conducted for the state valuation purposes indicated the assessed values, on average, to be at approximately 100% of market value.
In addition to these and other duties, the Assessor’s Office is responsible for processing exemptions for veterans and veterans’ widows, of which there were.
The Assessor’s Office is a clearing-house of information such as building and land records, monthly sales transactions and assessment valuation information used by other Town departments, the public, and their representatives (appraisers, brokers, attorneys, surveyors, title companies, etc.). Reports are often generated from the commitment file for use by various town departments, as well as the office being the source of addresses for public hearing notification. Computer reports containing various assessment and ownership information can be purchased for a reasonable fee.
PROPERTY TAX EXEMPTIONS AND RELIEF
PROPERTY TAX STABILIZATION FOR SENIOR CITIZENS
What Is It?
Property Tax Stabilization for Senior Citizens, also known as the Property Tax Stabilization Program (the “Program”), is a State program that allows certain senior-citizen residents to stabilize, or freeze, the property taxes on their homestead. As a result of recent changes in the law, the Tax Stabilization Program will only apply to the property tax year beginning April 1, 2023. However, this same legislation has expanded the eligibility thresholds for participation in the Property Tax Deferral Program and increased the maximum benefit available under the Property Tax Fairness Credit for those age 65 and older.
The homestead exemption provides a reduction of up to $25,000 in the value of your home for property tax purposes. To qualify, you must be a permanent resident of Maine, the home must be your permanent residence, you must have owned a home in Maine for the twelve months prior to applying and an application must be filed on or before April 1 with the municipality where the property is located. The exemption applies to any residential property that is assessed as real property. For instance, a mobile home located on a rented lot may qualify for the exemption.
The homestead exemption application is available at most municipalities or you may download the application on the Homestead Exemptions page. The completed application must be submitted to the municipality where you reside. If your home has more than one owner, only one signature is required. Forms filed after April 1 of any year will apply to the next year’s tax assessment.
Once the exemption has been approved, it will remain in effect as long as your ownership and residency status remain unchanged.
The homestead exemption is limited to only your primary residence; camps, vacation homes, and second residences do not qualify. If you also qualify for a veteran or blind exemption, the homestead exemption is in addition to those exemptions.
The $25,000 exemption must be adjusted by the local certified ratio. The local certified ratio is generally the percentage difference between the fair market value of your home and the local assessed value. Since your property taxes are based on the local assessed value, the $25,000 statewide exemption must be adjusted to apply to all property in the state equally. For example, if the local certified ratio in your town is 80%, your homestead exemption is computed in the following manner: $25,000 x .80 = $20,000. Your property value would be reduced by $20,000 by the homestead exemption. If you have further questions regarding the computation of your exemption, please contact your municipality or your local tax assessor. The homestead exemption cannot exceed the total value of your homestead; if the total value of your homestead is $14,000; your homestead exemption cannot exceed $14,000.
If your local assessor determines that you are not entitled to a homestead exemption, the assessor will send you a notice that includes the reasons for denial. You may appeal the denial in writing to the local Board of Assessment Review or to the County Commissioners. Further guidance may be found in Property Tax Bulletin No. 10 and 36 M.R.S. §§ 843 and 844.
RENEWABLE ENERGY INVESTMENT EXEMPTION
This program exempts renewable energy equipment, such as solar panels, from property tax beginning April 1, 2020. Taxpayers must apply for the credit by April 1 of the first year the exemption is requested.
MAINE RESIDENTS PERSONAL PROPERTY TAX PROGRAM
For those taxpayers who qualify, the state will make a partial reimbursement of taxes paid. Forms must be filed by January 31 each year and are available in the Assessor’s Office on or about the middle of August each year or online from the State of Maine Revenue
Any person who was in active service in the armed forces of the United States during a federally recognized war campaign period and, if discharged or retired under honorable conditions, may be eligible for a partial exemption from taxes on their primary residence.
The Veteran must have reached age 62 or must be receiving a pension or compensation from the United States Government for total disability, either service or non-service connected.
Applications forms can be obtained in the Assessor’s Office, or downloaded below, and must be filed with military discharge documentation on or before April 1st of the year it will go into effect.
A veteran who received a federal grant for a specially adapted housing unit may receive $50,000.
An individual who is determined to be legally blind receives $4,000.
BUSINESS EQUIPMENT TAX EXEMPTION
36 M.R.S. §§ 691 – 700-B.
All of the above exemptions require completion of an application to the local town office where the property is located. Exemption claims may require additional information to support the claim for exemption, and must be delivered to the Assessor’s office no later than April 1.
AVAILABLE PUBLICATIONS AND GENERAL INFORMATION
- Bureau of Taxation Bulletins
- Board of Assessment Review Rules and Procedures
- MMA’s A Homeowner’s Guide to the Property Tax
- Business Equipment Tax Rebate information
- Personal Property Declaration Forms
- Billing address-change forms
The Assessor’s Office welcomes all taxpayers to visit or call with any questions pertaining to real estate assessments, or further information on any of the assistance programs.