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John Baldacci

Big Boost for Property Tax Relief
By Gov. John Baldacci
Mar 8, 2006 - 1:01:00 PM

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Governor John Baldacci
Last year, by a large partisan vote, the Legislature passed LD 1. Its goal: to increase state aid to education, limit government spending and reduce property taxes. Two independent economists recently reflected that progress.

Here’s what they found: LD 1 is working. This year:

* Maine governments reduced spending growth.

* State aid for education contributed to municipal spending reductions.

* Maine homeowners saved an estimated $65 million, and Maine businesses saved $10 million, in property taxes.

* Maine homeowners at all income levels saved money.

If your property tax bill hasn’t gone down, ask:

How did your community use its share of the additional $99  million in 2006 state school aid?

Not every school replaced property tax dollars with state dollars. LD 1 left this decision to towns and cities.

Did your property tax bill grow by less than 5%?

Five percent is the average increase in recent years. For 2005, average property taxes grew by only 1.7%--just half the rate of inflation. That means less money than expected out of the pockets of property taxpayers.

Is your property tax bill more than 4% of your income? You may qualify for a refund: 225,000 Maine homeowners, renters, and seniors are eligible for property tax rebates up to $2000. Apply for a Tax and Rent Refund through your town office or Maine Revenue Services (626-8475 or www.maine.gov/revenue).

For 2007, the State will contribute another $79 million to education. Given our first year’s experience this should translate into further property tax relief for Maine residents. LD 1 is working.


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