An Act To Provide Property Tax Relief to Maine Residents
Sec. 1. 5 MRSA §1518-A, sub-§§1-A and 4, as enacted by PL 2011, c. 692, §1, are amended to read:
Sec. 2. 5 MRSA §1518-B is enacted to read:
§ 1518-B. Property Tax Fairness Fund
Sec. 3. 5 MRSA §1536, sub-§1, ¶E, as amended by PL 2011, c. 692, §2 and affected by §3, is further amended to read:
Sec. 4. 5 MRSA §1536, sub-§1, ¶G is enacted to read:
Sec. 5. 36 MRSA §5219-II, sub-§2, as enacted by PL 2013, c. 368, Pt. L, §1, is amended to read:
This bill creates the Property Tax Fairness Fund to create a mechanism for increasing the cap on the tax credit available to low-income and senior citizens under the property tax fairness credit. Currently, the cap on the credit is $300 for eligible residents under 70 years of age and $400 for eligible residents 70 years of age and older.
This bill requires 10% of the unappropriated General Fund surplus after all required deductions of appropriations, budgeted financial commitments and adjustments considered necessary by the State Controller have been made and 20% of the amount by which General Fund budgeted revenue for that fiscal year exceeds the General Fund appropriation limitation calculated for that fiscal year to be transferred to the Property Tax Fairness Fund; these amounts are attained by decreasing the amount of the unappropriated surplus transferred to the Tax Relief Fund for Maine Residents from 20% to 10% and the amount of the excess General Fund budgeted revenue from 40% to 20%.
Annually, the State Controller is required to notify the State Tax Assessor of the amount available in the Property Tax Fairness Fund. Based on that amount, the State Tax Assessor is required to increase the maximum credit available under the property tax fairness credit in equal amounts for those low-income residents under 70 years of age and 70 years of age and older. The higher caps apply to the income tax year immediately following the increase.