JAY — The town manager informed the Select Board on Monday that the town is expected to receive 56%, or $93,472.82, in reimbursement for the Property Tax Stabilization Program, also known as Property Tax Stabilization for Senior Citizens.

The total lost property tax revenue owed to Jay through the program is $176,363.81. The remainder is expected to be received only if a supplemental budget is passed at the state Legislature in the next few weeks. Otherwise, the revenue loss will be reflected in the current year’s budget, Jay Town Manager Shiloh LaFreniere told the board.

The Property Tax Stabilization Program was only in existence for one year. State officials realized there was not enough money for the program and the state Legislature repealed it and made some changes in tax relief measures.

Sharon Huntley, communications director for the Maine Department of Administrative and Financial Services, wrote in an email Thursday that letters were sent out to municipalities to explain the shortfall.

As noted in the letters, Maine Revenue Services is requesting an additional $15 million in the supplemental budget bill.

Gov. Janet Mills intends to include the bill in her forthcoming supplemental budget request to the Legislature. The expectation is that, if approved by the Legislature, the balance of the reimbursement payments to the municipalities would be made this spring.


The supplemental budget proposal will determine the final total budget amount for all proposed programs, according to Huntley.

So far, 416 out of 483 municipalities have reported on the Property Tax Stabilization Program, Huntley wrote.

The $15 million estimate for the Property Tax Stabilization Program was based on a sample of 142 municipalities provided by Maine Municipal Association to the Office of Tax Policy on Dec. 15, 2022.

The Office of Tax Policy assumed an average growth in 2023 property taxes of 4%, which translated into an average savings across those 142 municipalities of $161.

Based on the number of applicants in the 142 municipalities, office representatives estimated that on average 30% of municipal homestead exemptions in those municipalities qualified for the program.

Applying the 30% to total homestead exemptions statewide, the tax policy office estimated that 95,000 applicants would receive an average benefit of $161 for a total state reimbursement of approximately $15 million, Huntley wrote.


Through mid-January, 416 out of 483 municipalities, or 86%, have reported to the state tax assessor on the Property Tax Stabilization Program.

The total reimbursement request is $26.5 million for 86,668 qualified applicants, and average tax savings of $305.50.

The Office of Tax Policy would have needed to assume an average growth in 2023 property taxes of 7.8%, instead of 4%, to arrive at that average tax savings using the Maine Municipal Association sample.

Assuming 95,000 total applicants is still reasonable and the average tax savings applies to the remaining municipalities that haven’t reported to the state yet, the additional requested reimbursement is about $2.5 million.

While this would by slightly below the $30 million requested in the supplemental budget, it’s possible the remaining municipalities may require more than $2.5 million in reimbursement, Huntley wrote.

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