Senior Spotlight: Maine Property Tax & Rent Rebate Program 

Susan Poole a volunteer from Eastern Area Agency on Aging stopped by our studio to tell us about the Maine Property Tax & Rent Rebate Program.Here’s some frequently asked questions about the Program:What is the Maine Property Tax & Rent Rebate Program?A program that may refund a portion of the real estate tax you paid for your main home or part of the rent you paid for you home for 2011. It is often called a Circuit Breaker Program and it benefits many senior citizens. There is a maximum rebate.How do you get a rebate?You must apply, and you must meet the eligibility requirements. You can call Eastern Area Agency on Aging at 941-2865 or toll free at 1-800-432-7812 to schedule an appointment with a volunteer to help. EAAA will help you fill out forms and I-File and give you a copy of the filing for your records. You can get an application and instructions or apply online at the Maine Revenue Website or you can get forms from your city or town office and mail in an application.Who is eligible to get a Property Tax & Rent Rebate?Maine State residents who lived in Maine for at least 6 months and maintained a home here in Maine for then entire year and falls into on of two categories:A. Senior citizens over age 62 or those over 55 and disabled. Household income below $14,700 if living alone or $18,200 with spouse or dependent.B. Under general program: Household income for a person living alone less that $64,950 or living with someone else household income of less than $86,000Rent exceeded 20% of household income or real estate taxes exceeded 4% of household income.What information do you need before you start?Your rent receipts for 2011 and the name and telephone number of your landlord or copy the property tax bill for your home for 2011.Your federal and state income tax returns or your 2011 household income statements: wage statements, the (white & pink) Social Security, penisons, IRA, 401k, intrest on bank accounts, dividends, unemployment, child support, etc.Direct Deposit information: the routing number for you bank, the account number, and whether it is a checking or a savings account. You can have a check mailed to you, but it has been past experience that direct deposit is faster.If you have dependent, maybe a teenage child who has a part-time job, or an adult dependent does their income get counted as part of the household income?YesWhat if you share the rent on an apartment or are a part owner of a home that you live in? Can you still be eligible?Maybe. If your share computes to an amount that makes you eligible under the general eligibility rulesIf your rent is paid in part by the government. Can you still qualify for a refund?You may still be eligible if you qualify under the senior and disabled programAfter you complete your application save a copy. If for any reason you don’t receive a direct deposit, or a check, or a letter. You’ll need to have the information you filed in front of you before you contact the Maine Revenue Service at 626-8475. But give it 4 weeks. All this information was given to us by Eastern Area Agency on Aging. If you have any questions or want to make an appointment call them at 941-2865 or toll free at 1-800-432-7812