AUGUSTA – New homeowners may be eligible for tax relief through a bill submitted by Rep. Mark Bryant, D-Windham. The measure expands the homestead property tax exemption to include those who have owned a home in Maine for less than a year, if they enroll and participate in a state-approved home ownership course.
Bryant’s bill will be heard before the Taxation Committee in the coming weeks.
“This is about making sure homeowners are better prepared to manage a mortgage over the long-term,” said Bryant. “While foreclosures often come as the result of a job loss or health condition, in many cases it is because the homeowners simply didn’t understand what their contract demanded of them.”
Presently, the homestead exemption—where a town subtracts $10,000 from the assessed value of a home before issuing property taxes—applied only to Mainers who had owned a home for twelve months or more.
Bryant hopes that the small tax exemption, coupled with mortgage education, will produce a more stable housing market over the long term.
“It’s like training wheels for homeownership,” said Byrant. “Many first-time property owners could use the helping hand while they adjust their budgets to fit a new mortgage.”
For more information on the measure, visit: http://legislature.maine.gov/LawMakerWeb/summary.asp?ID=280054969
Bryant is serving his fifth non-consecutive term in the Maine House and represents part of Windham. He can be reached by email at Mark.Bryant@legislature.maine.gov or by phone at 207-892-6591.