Property Tax Fairness Credit Circuit Breaker (Previously Maine Residents Property Tax and Rent Refund Program: General and Senior Refund Programs)





Variations in Receipt of Benefit

Benefit Varies with Income

Minimum Tax Amount Must be Paid

Other Variation in Receipt of Benefits

Benefit Type

Circuit Breaker


The benefit is a refundable credit based on either property tax owed or rent paid. Rent constituting property tax is considered 15% of annual gross rent (which excludes charges for heat or other utilities). The benefit is equal to the taxes that exceed 6% of the resident's income. The maximum amount of allowable taxes varies by filing status. The maximum payment is $750 or $1,200 for people over 65 years old.

How is Benefit Disbursed

Direct payment to taxpayer

Eligible Property Type


Characteristics of Eligible Property

Only residential property is eligible for this program. The homestead may consist of a part of a multi-dwelling or multipurpose building and up to 10 acres of contiguous land. Separate parcels of land are considered contiguous if separated solely by a road, or public or private right of way.

Eligibility Criteria



Income Ceiling

Principal Residence


Description of Eligibility Criteria

Household income for 2019 cannot exceed $34,167 for single filers. For heads of household, married couples filing jointly, or qualifying widow(er)s, the income ceiling is $44,167 if two or fewer personal exemptions are claimed, or $55,000 if more than two personal exemptions are claimed. Married applicants filing separately are no longer eligible for the benefit. Claimants must have resided in Maine for all 12 months of the tax year and must have rented or owned the property for all 12 months and occupied the property for at least 6 months.

Local Option in Adoption of Program

Local government is unable to exercise an option

Local Option Regarding Program Features

Local option regarding program features

State Funding for Local Tax Loss

State reimburses all of the local government tax loss

Description of State Funding for Tax Loss

Claimants are paid directly by the state.

Record ID



Effective 1 January 2020, the benefit base and income eligibility amounts will be adjusted annually based on the annualized cost-of-living adjustments for Social Security retirement benefits, to be applied to the application period. Enacted 2019 ME. Laws ch. 343.


Me. Rev. Stat. Ann. tit. 36, § 5219-KK (in effect for 2020)
Property Tax Fairness Credit Application (filing 2020): Maine Revenue Services
[ Accessed 10/11/2021]

Maine Revenue Services Property Tax Fairness Credit Summary
[ Accessed 07/23/2021]
2019 ME. Laws ch. 343

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