AUGUSTA — An increase in Maine’s Property Tax Fairness Credit for families and seniors starts Friday.

The Legislature approved the increase when it passed L.D. 1751 this year, according to a news release. The measure increases the credit from $300 to $600 for lower-income residents younger than 65, and from $400 to $900 for tax filers 65 and older. It also expands eligibility to more renters.

“Property tax relief programs are critical for Maine families and seniors, especially since Maine is the oldest state in the nation,” said House Speaker Mark Eves, D-North Berwick, sponsor of the bill.

“So many seniors are forced out of their homes because they can’t keep up with rising property taxes on a fixed income,” Eves said. “Targeted property tax relief is just one more way leaders can help keep seniors stay in their homes and communities longer.”

The credit increase will apply to property taxes paid in 2014. Mainers can apply for the credit on their state income tax return in early 2015.

Eves said he hopes to increase the credit further as part of a package of aging-friendly reforms that he plans to propose in the Legislature in January.