Property Tax Stabilization for Seniors

Tax Relief for Bath's Seniors:

Maine's Property Tax Stabilization Program

Maine's Property Tax Stabilization program can help many property owners age 65 and older by freezing the amount of property tax paid in future years at the current tax amount. The difference between your payment and the actual property tax is paid to the City of Bath by the State of Maine. To learn more about Bath's enrollment in this program, see our Property Tax Stabilization Data page. 

To verify we have received and processed your application for the program, please review this document listing applicants for Property Tax Stabilization (current as of December 22, 2022). If you are not on this list, and have submitted an application for the program, please contact us to verify the status of your application.

Note that in Maine, all property is assessed as of April 1 each year. This means that although an application may be accepted at this time, if circumstances change between now and April 1, 2023 and you are no longer be eligible for the program, your next tax bill will not reflect the stabilized tax amount for your property. 

Some examples of circumstances that could affect the final determination of eligibility on April 1, 2023 include:

  • Sale of your home in Bath, and/or a change of residence to a different Maine community. Eligibility for the Property Tax Stabilization program can be transferred between Maine communities, but this transfer does not happen automatically. You must request that the Bath Assessor transfer your application (to show it was initially filed on time) and that the Assessor in your new community review the application and apply property tax stabilization to your new residence.  
  • The property is transferred into a form of ownership that is ineligible for the program, such as a irrevocable trust or an LLC.
  • The eligible applicant no longer resides in the State of Maine as of April 1, 2023.
  • The eligible applicant has died between December 1, 2022 and April 1, 2023.
  • Additional information indicates the applicant is not eligible for the program, or information requested from the applicant for verification is not received on or before April 1, 2023.
The deadline to apply for the program was December 1, 2022, and you must reapply every year by December 1. If you miss a year, you must reapply for the program, and your new stabilized tax amount will be the amount of the property taxes for the year you did not reapply.

Am I eligible?

If you will be at least 65 on April 1, 2023, and if you have owned a homestead in Maine for at least 10 years by April 1, 2023, you are eligible for the stabilization program. Property held in a Revocable Trust, or in a life estate, is generally eligible for the program. Property held by an Irrevocable Trust, as well as property owned in the name of an LLC or other commercial entity, is not eligible, even if it serves as your primary residence. As long as at least one owner is eligible for the program, a property owned by multiple owners is eligible for the program.

How do I know if I own a homestead?

A homestead is a property you own that serves as your primary (permanent) residence. You must have owned a homestead in Maine for at least 10 years, but those years do not need to be consecutive. To prove a property is (or was) your homestead, you will need to either:

  • Have received a homestead exemption (a reduction in the taxable value of your property); OR
  • Provide proof of Maine residency (for example, show that your property is/was your residence as shown on your driver’s license/state ID, your motor vehicle registration, voter registration, or other similar documents).

If you need proof of your previous property ownership in Bath in order to apply for the Property Tax Stabilization program in the community where you now live, please fill out our  Residency Data Request form or call or stop by our office. We will get you the information as soon as possible.

 How do I apply?

Simply complete the stabilization application, sign and date, and return to the Assessor's office or the City Clerk's office before December 1. You may email the completed application, send it via US Mail or drop it off by hand at City Hall.

 I completed the application and I think I’m eligible. What happens now?

Anyone eligible who completes the application and submits it no later than December 1 will be enrolled in the stabilization program during the following year. That means:

  1. Your tax bill in the current year will not change. The amount of tax you owe on your current year's tax bill is the amount that will be stabilized in future years. 
  2. If your Bath property taxes go up next year, you will still pay the same amount as you did in the year you first apply for the program.
  3. If your Bath property taxes go down next year, you’ll automatically be billed the lower amount, and the lower amount will become your new "stabilized" tax amount in future years, as long as you continue to reapply each year by December 1. 

How do I know if I’m accepted into the Property Tax Stabilization program? What if there is a problem with my application?

If your application is incomplete, or you are ineligible for the program, the Assessor’s office will contact you as soon as possible to follow up before the December 1 application deadline.

Once you have successfully enrolled in the program, you will receive a notice from our office before April 1 of the following year, confirming your enrollment in the program and the stabilized tax amount for your property for the 2023 tax year. 

Do I have to reapply every year?

YES. The stabilization program requires you to apply every year before December 1st. If you do not file a renewal application in future years, your tax amount will no longer be stabilized. You will have to reapply to stabilize your taxes at the then-current amount.

What if I move? -or- What if I just moved here from another town?

If you move, you can apply with your new Maine town’s assessor before December 1st and continue to receive a tax bill for the stabilized amount you paid here. 

If you had your taxes stabilized in another Maine town and move to Bath, submit a new application in Bath before December 1st and the stabilized amount from your previous town becomes your Bath property tax bill. 

Note that due to Maine's statutes, if you sell a tax-stabilized property after April 1, your stabilized tax amount for the upcoming tax year (July 1 to June 30) will be applied to the property you sold, and may not be applied to your new homestead in the tax year you purchase the property. To ensure you're not surprised by an unexpected tax bill, be sure to consult with a legal advisor or realtor before purchasing or selling a tax-stabilized property.

Is that everything?

These are just a few of the questions we’ve heard a lot. Maine Revenue Services has a more extensive list of Frequently Asked Questions. Many people have raised concerns about this program; if you'd like to read more about this program and other property tax policy concerns, please see our Sustainable Property Tax Relief page. Please don’t hesitate to call, email or visit our office with any other questions about this program. 

Brenda Cummings
Assistant Assessor
Jason Marshall
Phone Numbers
Emergencies: Dial 911
55 Front Street

Monday - Friday
8:30 AM - 12:00PM, 1:00PM - 4:30 PM