You probably received your property tax bill recently. Some taxpayers were fortunate to see a tax decrease; there are many who did not. Although the tax rate is less than last year, the major reason for the increase is the assessed value of your property (house and land.)

Property assessments are based on fair market value using one of three methods: a) comparison of similar properties sold within your vicinity, less any foreclosures; b) your property replacement value (value of property minus depreciation); or c) the income or potential income your property earns.

There are programs to help reduce your property tax liability. Fill out and return form(s) to the city or town assessor’s office.

Here are some programs to help with tax relief:

 Homestead Exemption: You must permanently reside in Maine and must have owned your home for the past 12 months.

Maine Veteran Property Tax Exemption: Form DD-214 or VA Form 20-5455 is required as proof of military service.

Maine Property Fairness Credit: Some individuals are not required to file federal or state taxes. There is still an opportunity to receive this credit. The form is filed with Maine Revenue Services.

If you have any questions about these programs, call Maine Revenue Services at (207) 626-8475. Other tax relief programs are available. Check out the MRS tax relief web page.

As a taxpayer, Saco Citizens for Sensible Government hopes you take the opportunity to review the information and use the tax relief programs available.

John Harkins, Chairperson

Saco Citizens for Sensible Government

Saco

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CORRECTION: This letter was updated on Sept. 1, 2017, at 4:13 p.m. to correct the phone number for Maine Revenue Services.