Property Tax Fairness Credit (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 50% of the taxes that exceed 6% of the resident's income. The maximum amount of allowable taxes varies by filing status. The maximum payment is $600 or $900 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 cannot exceed $33,333 for single filers. For heads of household, married couples filing jointly, or qualifying widow(er)s, the income ceiling is $43,333 if two or fewer personal exemptions are claimed, or $53,333 if more than two personal exemptions are claimed. For married applicants filing separately, the income ceiling is $21,667 if two or fewer personal exemptions are claimed, or $26,667 if more than two are claimed. 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 2017 married taxpayers filing separate returns do not qualify for credit in accordance with ME. 2017 Laws Ch. 211 Sec. D-6 & D-7 for tax years 2017 and forward. 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.


Me. Rev. Stat. Ann. tit. 36, § 5219-KK (in effect for 2017)
Property Tax Fairness Credit Application (2016 tax year): Maine Revenue Services [ Accessed 02/21/2018]
View Archived Source
Maine Revenue Services Property Tax Fairness Credit Summary [ Accessed 02/21/2018] View Archived Source
ME. 2017 Laws Ch. 211 Sec. D-6 & D-7

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