Deadline for property tax refund is May 31

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DEAR SUN SPOTS: I volunteer with SeniorsPlus helping people fill out the paperwork for Maine’s property tax and rent refund program. SeniorsPlus offers this free service to all individuals from September through May 31 each year. We are currently filing for 2008. The 2009 refunds will be from August 2010 until May 31, 2011.

There are still individuals who have not filed, and I would like to see a notification in your area of the Sun Journal, as you have many followers reading Sun Spots daily (including me).

Could you let your readers know that the 2008 refund offer expires May 31? We have two days left in this month for appointments — May 18 and May 25. They can call SeniorsPlus at 795-4010 or 1-800 427-1241 for an appointment. SeniorsPlus is at 8 Falcon St., Lewiston. — No Name, No Town

ANSWER: This program (also known as the Circuit Breaker program) is available to low-income households as well as seniors. If you are online, you can read about it at www.state.me.us/revenue/taxrelief/tnr.htm.

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Here is some of the information directly from that site:

“Nearly 200,000 Maine households qualify for a partial refund of property tax assessed and/or rent they paid in 2008. The maximum refund available is $1,600. You may qualify for a refund if:

“You do not have a spouse or dependent(s) and your 2008 household income was $61,400 or less; or you do have a spouse or dependent(s) and your 2008 household income was $81,850 or less AND your 2008 property tax was more than 4 percent of your 2008 household income; or the rent you paid in 2008 was more than 20 percent of your 2008 household income.

“NOTE: Seniors do not need to meet this requirement when their household income is below $13,900 for those living alone or below $17,200 for those living with a spouse or dependent.”

For more information, readers can call 626-8475.

DEAR SUN SPOTS: A few years ago there was a business in Auburn that sold strawberries filled with a sweet cream and then dipped in chocolate. I don’t remember the name of the business, just that she filed for bankruptcy and moved to Texas. Is there any way that I could get the recipe that she used so I can make them for my family and friends? — Wendy Vermette, wendyvermette@yahoo.com

ANSWER: Without a name, Sun Spots doesn’t know of any way to track them. But perhaps a reader will remember the business or have a similar recipe they’d be willing to share.

DEAR SUN SPOTS: Would any craft people who sell or give craft items to a charitable organization like to get some wooden toys that I make. I would donate some to whoever would like to paint them. Call me at 364-8364. — Alyre Richard, Rumford

DEAR SUN SPOTS: Please bring the easier crossword puzzle back. I kept telling people they could do it if they tried — not anymore! I think it’s a shame not to have the easier ones. Those who want the harder ones should buy the New York Times puzzle book. Thank you. — No Name, Mexico

DEAR SUN SPOTS: Don’t laugh yet. What you assumed was an “amusing error” in the lyrics to the song “Hotel California” on one website is actually the correct wording. The phrase the Eagles sang is “Mercedes bends,” not “Mercedes Benz” as your May 4 column claimed. It’s a pun intended to point out an obsession with wealth, and it should have been obvious from the previous line (“Her mind is Tiffany-twisted”). Cheers. — Al Diamon, aldiamon@herniahill.net

ANSWER: Sun Spots has no excuse for this error, but there is a reason. Many years ago, when she met her sister-in-law for the first time and was informed that she worked for Mercedes Benz, Sun Spots, who is not into cars, said, “Oh, I love England. Do you get to go there often?” The very German family of her husband has never let her forget that faux pas and subsequently Sun Spots is (overly) sensitive to getting Mercedes right, which, in this case, led her to get it wrong.

This column is for you, our readers. It is for your questions and comments. There are only two rules: You must write to the column and sign your name (we won’t use it if you ask us not to). Please include your phone number. Letters will not be returned or answered by mail, and telephone calls will not be accepted. Your letters will appear as quickly as space allows. Address them to Sun Spots, P.O. Box 4400, Lewiston, ME 04243-4400. Inquiries can also be e-mailed to sunspots@sunjournal.com.

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