Property Taxes / Assessing

Assessor

Natalie Andrews 743-6651

Property Tax

Property taxes are mailed in August.

The first payment is due in November, the second payment is due in May.

Commitment 2018 – Alphabetical

Commitment 2018 – by Account

Check out our newest online feature: Norway Tax Parcel Viewer

Current tax year information:
Tax Rate: $17.20 per thousand @ 100% ratio
Due Dates: November 22 and May 22
Interest Rate: 7%
Fiscal Year: July 1 to June 30

Property Tax Law – is embodied in Title 36 of the Maine Revised Statutes

EXEMPTIONS
(Title 36, M.R.S.A. Sections 651-678)
There are several classes of exempt property (property upon which real estate taxes need not be paid) such as government-owned property. In addition, several other personal exemptions exist.
Application forms and bulletins that describe them are available on the State’s Website.

Homestead Exemption
Under this law, homeowners are now eligible for up to a $15,000 reduction (beginning in 2016) in their permanent residence’s property valuation. If you have owned a home in Maine for 12 months prior to April first, you may apply for this program. Forms are available at the Tax Assessor’s office or on the state’s website.

Veteran’s Exemption – (Title 36, M.R.S.A. Section 653)
A property owner may be eligible for a reduction in the valuation of their property if they: Own a residence in Freeport on April 1 of the tax year in question; Are a veteran who is not dishonorably discharged; Served during a recognized war period in the U.S. Armed Forces; Are over 62 or are an unremarried widow/widower of a qualifying veteran. If the veteran is under 62 but is 100% disabled due to a service-connected disability, he/she might likewise qualify. In any case the veteran must fill out a form and provide proof of service and discharge, such as a copy of their DD214 form. For veterans who served during World War II or later, the exemption is $6000, beginning April 1, 2008. For veterans serving prior, the exemption is $7000. Paraplegic veterans may receive an exemption of $47500 for a specially adapted housing unit. Applications for these exemptions are available in the Tax Assessor’s Office or on the state’s website.

Blind Exemption – (Title 36, M.R.S.A. Section 654)
The residential real estate of residents who are legally blind as determined by the Department of Education Division for the Blind and Visually Impaired may be exempt up to the just value of $4,000. Applications for this exemption are available in the Assessor’s Office or on the state’s website.
PROPERTY TAX FAIRNESS CREDIT
As of 2013, the Property Tax and Rent Refund program (‘circuit breaker program’) has been REPEALED by the legislature.  It has been replaced by a refundable ‘Property Tax Fairness Credit’ that can be claimed on the Maine Individual Income Tax Form.

You may obtain more information at: The State’s webpage on this development.
TREE GROWTH
(Title 36, M.R.S.A. Sections 571-584A PL 1995, c. 236 amd.)
As a matter of public policy, the State of Maine has set up a Tree Growth category of property which values land according to rates established by the State rather than market value. A property owner who wishes to maintain land for the planting, culture, and continuous harvesting of trees may apply for a Tree Growth classification. The owner should be intent on actual long-term tree cultivation, as any change in use triggers a hefty penalty tax. To apply, a landowner should

1. have at least 10 acres in forest production
2. have a forest management and harvest plan
3. fill out an application to be filed with the Assessor’s Office
4. file by April 1 in the year for which the classification is requested

For more information and an application, visit the Assessor’s Office or view the State’s Property Tax Bulletin # 19 on Tree Growth: Property Tax Bulletin 19.

Valuation — The assessor establishes the 100% valuation per acre on a current use basis, i.e. reflecting their value as agricultural land, not as developable land. Requirements — At least one of the applicant’s tracts must be 5 contiguous acres which produces a gross income of at least $2000 per year in one of the two or three of the five calendar year preceding the date of application. By April 1 of each fifth year, the owner must file an income report of the gross agricultural income derived from the subject property. Withdrawal — Should the owner change the use of part or all of the property, a substantial penalty is assessed. Visit the assessing office for more information or read the State’s Bulletin on the online: Property Tax Bulletin 20

Open Space – means (under this statute) registered land, the preservation or restriction of the use of which provides a defined public benefit.

Valuation — Either market value of open space land or an alternative percentage-based method is used. In the percentage method, a reduction from market value is granted for each restriction placed on the subject property:

*Ordinary open space land -20%
*Permanently protected -30%
*Forever wild -20%
*Public access -25%

In no case can the land be valued at less than the prevailing tree growth valuation. Requirements — A public benefit must be obtained in one or more of the following areas:

1. Conserving scenic resources
2. Enhancing public recreation opportunities
3. Promoting game management
4. Preserving wildlife or wildlife habitat

Withdrawal – Should the owner change the use of part or all of the property, a substantial penalty is assessed. It should be noted that Tree Growth and Open Space land can have the effect of increasing the value of abutting property. If interested in either of these classifications, the property owner should contact the Assessor’s Office for an application and explanatory bulletin or read the State’s bulletin on the subject on line:
Property Tax Bulletin 21
PERSONAL PROPERTY
The value of personal property of businesses – furniture, fixtures, machinery and equipment – that are pertinent to the conduct of that business are subject to valuation and taxation. The Town Assessor assesses these properties based on their ownership, condition, and location as of April 1.

Maine has a personal property tax refund program that is state funded, called the Business Equipment Tax Refund (BETR) Program For more information, see: BETR Info.