This week, I’ll highlight an editorial in support of a bill of mine, and discuss the new property tax rebate system.

Student Hunger Editorial

Last week, the Portland Press Herald published an editorial in support of my bill to reduce student hunger bill. With food insecurity at a perilous high, students going hungry during the summer, and a fantastic but under-utilized federal program to solve the problem, we must act now. I hope you’ll take a moment to read this and let me know what you think.

Changes to Circuit Breaker Program

As you may have heard, the new state budget replaced the Circuit Breaker Program with the Property Tax Fairness Program. In the Governor’s proposed budget, he completely eliminated the Circuit Breaker Program. However, many lawmakers in the Legislature know how important it is to provide property tax relief to homeowners, and to that end, we worked hard to develop this compromise.

Under the new program, the Property Tax Fairness Program, eligible Mainers will be able to claim property taxes as a credit on their income taxes, instead of having to complete a separate application. This new credit will be available starting in January 2014.

To qualify for the credit you must:

  • Be a Maine resident for any part of 2013;
  • Own or rent a home in Maine in 2013;
  • Have an adjusted gross income of $40,000 or less; and
  • Pay more than 10% of your adjusted gross income, or pay rent more than 40% of your adjusted gross income, toward property taxes

Mainers under the age of 70 may receive up to $300, and Mainers 70 and older may receive up to $400 through the credit.

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Thank you for all your support, questions, comments and concerns this session. I would love to hear from you on how we did as a Senate, and how you feel I performed as your Senator.