The state property tax stabilization program ends up being a sham. I thought that if I applied in September 2022, the town of Gorham would use the 2022 tax year as the stabilized rate because the Maine Revenue Services website states: “The tax billed to you for your homestead will be frozen at the amount you were billed in the prior tax year.” Since I applied in September 2022, I assumed “prior year” meant that either 2021 or 2022 would be my rate.

Cumberland County’s assessment, in April 2022, brought my taxes from $4,740 to $5,938, and I received a bill for this amount. The town office explained that “previous” year is actually the June 2022-July 2023 tax year. Therefore I “stabilized” on the highest tax in the history of the state, during a time of the highest inflation in the country, and based on inflated property values from out-of-staters bidding up the price of properties.

Every Mainer knows that when the out-of-staters realize that they will face the same issues here as the metropolitan areas they left – theaters sold out months in advance; coffee drive-thrus with a 10-plus-car wait; no parking to enjoy the restaurants in Portland, and brutal winters – they will sell at a loss, leaving the rest of us with highly inflated real estate tax bills.

Consequently, I’ll be paying $1,200 more in taxes, over $5 a gallon for heating oil, with a shrinking retirement account as the stock market plunges.

This is not a good deal for seniors, who should remember this when they vote in November.

Kathleen Williams

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