Property tax bills were expected to land in mailboxes this week in Saco, where the mil rate increased 29 cents. Those with the Homestead exemption will likely see a modest increase, unless their property’s value has gone up. Those without the Homestead exemption will see more robust increases in their taxes. Tammy Wells Photo

SACO — Saco’s property tax bills were set to arrive in mailboxes sometime this week. City officials say some may see a slight increase in the amount of tax they must pay — and some will see more.

The tax, or mil rate, has increased from $19.38 per $1,000 worth of property to $19.67, or by 29 cents.

In a social media posting, city officials explained that a home currently valued at $250,000 with a Homestead exemption of $19,800 received a $4,461.27 tax bill in 2019,  when the mil rate was $19.38.

Applying the new, $19.67 mil rate to the same property this year, with the same value, and a homestead exemption that has increased to $23,000, would result in $4,465.09 in property tax, or $3.82 more.

A home with the same value without a Homestead exemption would pay $4,917.50 at the $19.67 tax rate, or $452.41 more this year, according to figures supplied by the City of Saco.

City officials said the mil rate for city services remained flat this year at $8.03; the York County government rate increased from 51 cents in 2019 to 53 cents in 2020, and the school rate increased from $10.84 in 2019 to $11.11 in 2020 — all adding up to $19.67.

The Homestead exemption increased from $19,800 in 2019 to $23,000 in 2020. The Legislature determines the Homestead exemption amount, and Saco’s certified assessment ratio is 92 percent, so does not receive the full $25,000 exemption, according to the city’s statement.

To qualify for the Homestead exemption, homeowners must be permanent residents of Maine, the home must be a permanent residence; and the homeowners must have owned the home for the 12 months prior to applying, according to information on the state website. An application for a Homestead exemption 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. As an example, the state noted a mobile home located on a rented lot may qualify for the exemption.

The first half of the property tax payment is due in September, the second half, in March.

More information about various exemptions can be found on the assessor’s page on the Saco website at www.sacomaine.org. For information about payment options, visit the finance page on the website.

Comments are not available on this story.

filed under: