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AUGUSTA, ME - Maine homeowners and renters should make sure to take advantage of Maine’s “circuit breaker” program, which provides relief to help residents pay their property taxes. Qualified residents who fail to apply for relief are forfeiting refunds worth up to $2,000, according to State Reps. Susan Austin (R-Gray) and Meredith Strang Burgess (R-Cumberland).

The state’s primary tax relief program is the Property Tax and Rent Refund Program, commonly known as the “circuit breaker.” It is run by Maine Revenue Services (MRS). The first day for filing applications for refunds on property taxes paid in 2008 is August 1, 2009. Under the guidelines, you may qualify for a refund if you do not have a spouse or dependents and your 2008 income was $61,400 or less. If you have a spouse and dependents, you could have made up to $81,850 in 2008 and still qualify.

To receive a refund, your 2008 property tax must have exceeded 4 percent of your income. Renters qualify if the rent they paid in 2008 exceeded 20 percent of their income. Seniors do not have to meet these requirements when their household income is below $13,900 for those living alone or below $17,200 for those living with a spouse or dependent.

Applications for 2008 property tax refunds will be available on August 1. MRS generally sends applications to anyone who filed in the previous year. Applications will also be available at town offices, libraries, post offices and Area Agency on Aging and Community Action Program offices. You may also request an application from MRS by calling them at 207-624-7894.


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Rep. Strang Burgess is a second-term legislator representing House District 108, which includes Chebeague Island, Cumberland, Long Island and part of North Yarmouth.


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