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Municipal Matters: Governor Extends April 1st Deadline for Qualifying Property Tax Exemptions


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Municipal Matters: Governor Extends April 1st Deadline for Qualifying Property Tax Exemptions

By: N. Joel Moser and Patrick Marass

What You Should Know

Maine law provides that property tax exemption and current use classification applications must be submitted by April 1st. In March and April of last year, however, Governor Mills signed Executive Order No. 30 and Executive Order 30-A that respectively extended the April 1, 2020 submission deadline for certain property tax exemptions and current use classifications. On March 17, 2021, Governor Mills issued a proclamation renewing the State of Civil Emergency for another thirty days in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. As a result, Executive Orders No. 30 and 30-A issued in the spring of 2020 will apply to the April 1, 2021 tax year, extending the submission deadline for certain property tax exemptions and current use classification applications. Accordingly, the deadline for submitting these applications has been extended for the April 1, 2021 tax year to either: a municipality’s property tax commitment date; or 30 days following the termination of the Governor’s State of Civil Emergency proclamation, whichever occurs first.

The extension specifically applies to the following property tax exemptions:

  • Property of Institutions and Organizations (36 M.R.S. § 652)
  • Estates of Veterans (36 M.R.S. § 653(1)(G))
  • Solar and Wind Energy Equipment (36 M.R.S. §§ 655(1)(U) and 656(1)(K))
  • Exemption of Homesteads (36 M.R.S. § 684(1))
  • Exemption of Business Equipment (“BETE”) (36 M.R.S. § 693(1))

The extension applies to the following current land use programs:

  • Farm and Open Space (36 M.R.S. §§ 1101-1121)
  • Tree Growth (36 M.R.S. §§ 571-584-A)
  • Working Waterfront (36 M.R.S. §§ 1131-1140-B)

What’s Next

Assessors should continue to process exemption and current use applications received after April 1st. The April 1st status date on which all real and personal property is subject to taxation for the April 1, 2021 tax year (36 M.R.S. § 502) otherwise remains in effect.

Bottom Line

The COVID-19 crisis continues to rapidly evolve, which requires municipalities and businesses to adapt quickly to legal, regulatory, economic, and community impacts. Our municipal law team is monitoring these developments in real time and we’re here to support and assist you as needed. Please do not hesitate to reach out if we can be helpful to you.

To learn more visit our Coronavirus Legal Response Team webpage or our Municipal Team webpage.