Property Tax Law Book - Title 36 Part 9

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CHAPTER 907

MAINE RESIDENTS PROPERTY TAX PROGRAM

§6201. Definitions

As used in this chapter, unless the context otherwise indicates, the following terms have the following meanings.

1. Benefit base.   "Benefit base" means property taxes accrued or rent constituting property taxes accrued. In the case of a claimant paying both rent and property taxes for a homestead, benefit base means both property taxes accrued and rent constituting property taxes accrued. The benefit base may not exceed $3,350 for single-member households and $4,400 for households with 2 or more members.

2. Claimant.  "Claimant" means an individual who has filed a claim under this chapter and who was domiciled in this State and occupied a homestead in this State during the entire year for which a claim for relief under this chapter is filed. "Claimant" also includes an individual who has filed a claim under this chapter and who was domiciled in this State and owned or otherwise maintained a homestead in this State during the entire year for which the claim for relief under this chapter is filed and occupied that homestead for at least 6 months during that year. Regardless of how many names of individuals appear on the property deed, the person who meets the qualifications described in this subsection and proves sole responsibility for the payment of the property taxes on the subject property is the claimant with respect to that property. If 2 or more individuals meet the qualifications in this subsection and share the payment of the rent or the responsibility for the payment of the property taxes, each individual may apply on the basis of the rent paid or the property taxes levied on the homestead that reflect the ownership percentage of the claimant and the claimant's household.

If 2 or more individuals claim the same property, the matter must be referred to the State Tax Assessor, whose decision is final. Ownership of a homestead under this chapter may be by fee, by life tenancy, by bond for deed, as mortgagee or any other possessory interest in which the owner is personally responsible for the tax for which a refund is claimed.

3. Elderly household.  "Elderly household" means a household in which, during the year for which relief is requested:

A. At least one member of the household had attained the age of 62;

B. The claimant was not married and had attained the age of 55 and was, due to disability, receiving federal disability payments such as supplemental security income; or

C. The claimant was married and had attained the age of 55 and both the claimant and the claimant's spouse were, due to disability, receiving federal disability payments such as supplemental security income.

4. Gross rent.  "Gross rent" means rental paid at arm's length solely for the right of occupancy of a homestead, exclusive of charges for any utilities, services, furniture, furnishings or personal property appliances furnished by the landlord as part of the rental agreement, whether or not expressly set out in the rental agreement. If the landlord and tenant have not dealt with each other at arm's length, and the State Tax Assessor is satisfied that the gross rent charged was excessive, the State Tax Assessor may adjust the gross rent to a reasonable amount for purposes of this chapter.

5. Homestead.  "Homestead" means the dwelling owned or rented by the claimant or held in a revocable living trust for the benefit of the claimant and occupied by the claimant and the claimant's dependents as a home, and may consist of a part of a multidwelling or multipurpose building and a part of the land, up to 10 acres, upon which it is built. "Owned" includes a vendee in possession under a land contract and of one or more joint tenants or tenants in common and includes possession under a legally binding agreement that allows the owner of the dwelling to transfer the property but continue to occupy the dwelling as a home until some future event stated in the agreement.

6. Household.  "Household" means a claimant and spouse and members of the household for whom the claimant under this chapter is entitled to claim an exemption as a dependent under Part 8 for the year for which relief is requested.

7. Household income.  "Household income" means all income received by all persons of a household in a calendar year while members of the household.

8. Household income eligibility adjustment factor.  "Household income eligibility adjustment factor" means one plus the annualized cost-of-living adjustments for Social Security retirement benefits during the year for which relief is requested.

9. Income.  "Income" means Maine adjusted gross income determined in accordance with Part 8, modified as provided by this subsection.

A. Maine adjusted gross income must be increased by the following amounts, to the extent not included in Maine adjusted gross income:

(1) Contributions, including catch-up contributions, to any pension, annuity or retirement plan, including contributions to an individual retirement account under Section 408 of the Code, a simplified employee pension plan, a salary reduction simplified employee pension plan, a savings incentive match plan for employees plan and a deferred compensation plan under Section 457 of the Code and cash or deferred arrangements under Section 401 of the Code and qualified, or "Keogh," accounts;

(2) Nontaxable contributions to a flexible spending arrangement under Section 125 of the Code;

(3) Amounts excluded from gross income under Section 129 of the Code;

(4) Distributions from a ROTH IRA;

(5) Capital gains;

(6) The absolute value of the amount of trade or business loss, net operating loss carry-over, capital loss, rental loss, farm loss, partnership or S Corporation loss included in Maine adjusted gross income;
(7) Inheritance;

(8) Life insurance proceeds paid on death of an insured;

(9) Nontaxable lawsuit rewards resulting from lawsuits for actions such as slander, libel and pain and suffering, excluding reimbursements such as medical and legal expenses associated with the case;

(10) Support money;

(11) Nontaxable strike benefits;

(12) The gross amount of any pension or annuity, including railroad retirement benefits;
(13) All payments received under the federal Social Security Act and state unemployment insurance laws;

(14) Veterans' disability pensions;

(15) Nontaxable interest received from the Federal Government or any of its agencies or instrumentalities;

(16) Interest or dividends on obligations or securities of this State and its political subdivisions and authorities;

(17) Workers' compensation and the gross amount of "loss of time" insurance; and

(18) Cash public assistance and relief, but not including relief granted under this chapter.

B. Maine adjusted gross income must be decreased by the following amounts, to the extent included in Maine adjusted gross income:

(1) The first $5,000 of proceeds from a life insurance policy, whether paid in a lump sum or in the form of an annuity;

(2) A rollover from an individual retirement account, pension or annuity fund or plan to an individual retirement account, pension or annuity fund or plan;

(3) Gifts from nongovernmental sources; and

(4) Surplus foods or other relief in kind supplied by a governmental agency.

10. Property taxes accrued.  "Property taxes accrued" means property taxes exclusive of special assessment, delinquent interest and charges for service levied on a claimant's homestead in this State as of April 1, 1972, or any tax year thereafter. If a claimant receives an abatement of property taxes based on hardship or poverty pursuant to section 841, subsection 2 during the year for which relief is requested, "property taxes accrued" means only the portion of property taxes levied that was not abated during the year for which the claimant requests relief. If a homestead is owned by 2 or more persons or entities as joint tenants or tenants in common, and one or more persons or entities are not members of the claimant's household, "property taxes accrued" is that part of property taxes levied on the homestead that reflects the ownership percentage of the claimant and the claimant's household. If a claimant and spouse own their homestead for part of the year for which relief is requested and rent it or a different homestead for part of the same tax year, "property taxes accrued" means taxes levied on the homestead on April 1st, multiplied by the percentage of 12 months that the property was owned and occupied by the household as its homestead during the year for which relief is requested. When a household owns and occupies 2 or more different homesteads in this State in the same calendar year, property taxes accrued relate only to the total of the property taxes owed for the time that each property was occupied by the household as a homestead. To calculate the amount attributable to each property, the April 1st assessment on each homestead is multiplied by the percentage of 12 months that each property was owned and occupied by the claimant as the claimant's homestead during the year for which relief is requested. If a homestead is an integral part of a larger unit such as a farm, or a multipurpose or multidwelling building, property taxes accrued are that percentage of the total property taxes accrued that the value of the homestead is of the total value, except that property taxes accrued do not include any portion of taxes claimed as a business expense for federal income tax purposes. For purposes of this chapter, "unit" refers to the parcel of property separately assessed of which the homestead is a part.

11. Rent constituting property taxes accrued for an elderly household.  "Rent constituting property taxes accrued for an elderly household" means 25% of the gross rent actually paid in cash or its equivalent in any tax year by a claimant and the claimant's household solely for the right of occupancy of their Maine homestead in the tax year and which rent constitutes the basis, in the succeeding calendar year, of a claim for relief under this chapter by the claimant.

11-A. Rent constituting property taxes accrued for nonelderly household.  "Rent constituting property taxes accrued for nonelderly household" means 20% of the gross rent actually paid in cash or its equivalent in any tax year by a claimant and the claimant's household solely for the right of occupancy of their Maine homestead in the tax year and which rent constitutes the basis, in the succeeding calendar year, of a claim for relief under this chapter by the claimant.

12. Year for which relief is requested.  "Year for which relief is requested" means the calendar year preceding that in which the claim is filed. For a claim filed during January to May of any year, or during the extension period allowed under section 6215, "year for which relief is requested" means the calendar year 2 years preceding that in which the claim is filed.

§6201-A. Short title

This chapter may be known and may be cited as the "Maine Residents Property Tax Program" and may be referred to as "the Circuitbreaker Program."

§6202. Claim is personal

The right to file a claim under this chapter is personal to the claimant and does not survive the claimant's death, but the right may be exercised on behalf of a claimant by the claimant's legal guardian or attorney-in-fact. If a claimant dies after having filed a timely claim, the amount thereof must be disbursed to another member of the household as determined by the State Tax Assessor.

If the claimant was the only member of a household, the claim may be paid to the claimant's personal representative, but if one is not appointed within 2 years of the filing of the claim, the amount of the claim escheats to the State.

§6204. Filing date

A claim may not be paid unless the claim is filed with the Bureau of Revenue Services on or after August 1st and on or before the following May 31st. 

§6205. One claim per household

Only one claimant per household or homestead per year shall be entitled to relief under this chapter.

§6206. Income limitations for elderly households

A claimant representing an elderly household shall qualify for the following benefits subject to the following income limitations.

1.  Single-member elderly households. For single-member elderly households, the benefit shall be calculated as follows:

If household income equals:      The benefit equals:

$     0   to $6,800                       100% of the benefit base up to a maximum of $400

$6,801 to $7,000                        75% of the benefit base up to a maximum of $300

$7,001 to $7,200                        50% of the benefit base up to a maximum of $200

$7,201 to $7,400                        25% of the benefit base up to a maximum of $100
2.  Elderly households with 2 or more members. For elderly households with 2 or more members, the benefit shall be calculated as follows:

If household income equals:      The benefit equals:

$     0   to $8,100                       100% of the benefit base up to a maximum of $400

$8,101 to $8,500                        75% of the benefit base up to a maximum of $300

$8,501 to $8,800                        50% of the benefit base up to a maximum of $200

$8,801 to $9,200                        25% of the benefit base up to a maximum of $100

3.  Minimum benefit. No claim of less than $5 may be granted.

§6207. Income limitations for nonelderly households

A claimant representing a nonelderly household qualifies for the following benefits subject to the following income limitations.

1.  Benefit calculation.  For claimants representing a nonelderly household, the benefit is calculated as follows:

A-1.  Fifty percent of that portion of the benefit base that exceeds 4% but does not exceed 8% of income plus 100% of that portion of the benefit base that exceeds 8% of income to a maximum payment of $2,000.

B. For application periods beginning on August 1, 2009, August 1, 2010, August 1, 2011 and August 1, 2012, the benefit is limited to 80% of the amount determined under paragraph A-1.
2-AIncome eligibility.  For application periods beginning on or after August 1, 2008, a single-member household with a household income in excess of $60,000 and a household with 2 or more members with a household income in excess of $80,000 are not eligible for a benefit.

3.  Subsidized housing; special needs payment.  A claim may not be granted under this section to claimants:

A.  Whose housing costs for the year for which relief is requested were subsidized by government programs that limit housing costs to a percentage of household income, except that the exclusion provided by this paragraph does not apply to persons receiving social security disability or supplemental security income disability benefits.

4. Minimum benefit.  A claim of less than $10 may not be granted.

§6208. Benefit calculation for elderly households

If a claimant representing an elderly household qualifies for a larger benefit under section 6207 than under section 6206, then that claimant's benefit must be calculated under section 6207.

§6209. Annual adjustment

1Household limitation adjustment.  The State Tax Assessor shall determine annually the household income eligibility adjustment factor. That factor must be multiplied by the applicable income limitations in section 6206, as previously adjusted according to this subsection, for the year prior to that for which relief is requested. The result must be rounded to the nearest $100 and applies to the year for which relief is requested corresponding to the year on which the annualized cost of living adjustments were based.
3Benefit base maximum adjustment.  Beginning March 1, 2009, the State Tax Assessor shall annually multiply the household income eligibility adjustment factor by the maximum benefit base amounts specified in section 6201, subsection 1, as previously adjusted. The result must be rounded to the nearest $50 and applies to the application period beginning the next August 1st.

4.  Income eligibility adjustment.   Beginning March 1, 2009, the State Tax Assessor shall annually multiply the household income eligibility adjustment factor by the maximum income eligibility amounts specified in section 6207, subsection 2-A, as previously adjusted. The result must be rounded to the nearest $50 and applies to the application period beginning the next August 1st.

§6210. Administration

The State Tax Assessor shall make available suitable forms with instructions for claimants. The claim must be in the form prescribed by the assessor and must be signed by the claimant. 

The assessor shall include a checkoff to request an application for the Maine Residents Property Tax Program on the individual income tax form. The assessor shall also provide a paperless option for filing an application for the Maine Residents Property Tax Program. 

§6211. Audit of claim

If, on the audit of any claim filed under this chapter, the State Tax Assessor determines the amount to have been incorrectly determined, the assessor shall redetermine the claim and shall notify the claimant of the redetermination and the reasons for it. The redetermination is reviewable in accordance with section 151. If the claim has been paid, the amount paid in excess of that legally due is subject to interest at the rate determined pursuant to section 186. The assessor may credit a benefit payable to a claimant under this chapter against a liability of that claimant pursuant to this section.

§6212. Denial of claim

1. Fraudulent claim. If the State Tax Assessor determines that a claim under this chapter is excessive and was filed with fraudulent intent, the claim must be disallowed in full. If the claim has been paid, the amount paid may be recovered by assessment, collection and enforcement in the manner provided in chapter 7. A person who, with fraudulent intent, files or prepares an excessive claim, assists in the preparation or filing of an excessive claim or supplies information in support of an excessive claim commits a Class E crime.

2. Negligent claim. If the State Tax Assessor determines that a claim under this chapter is excessive and was negligently prepared, the amount claimed in excess of that legally due plus 10% of the corrected claim must be disallowed. If the claim has been paid, the amount disallowed may be recovered by assessment, collection and enforcement in the manner provided in chapter 7.

3. Unpaid liability. A person who has an unpaid liability arising from this section and the spouse of that person are disqualified from receiving benefits under this chapter.
 
§6213. Appeal

A denial in whole or in part of relief claimed under this chapter may be appealed in accordance with section 151.

§6214. Disallowance of certain claims

A claim shall be disallowed, if the State Tax Assessor finds that the claimant received title to his homestead primarily for the purpose of receiving benefits under this chapter.

§6215. Extension of time for filing claims

In case of sickness, absence or other disability, or if, in the judgment of the State Tax Assessor, good cause exists, the assessor may extend, for a period not to exceed 2 months, the time for filing a claim. A request for an extension may be submitted at any time during the 2-month extension period.    

§6216. Protection from loss of benefits

It is the intent of the Legislature that any claim paid under this chapter shall supplement any benefits paid under aid to the aged, blind and disabled or any program which succeeds or supplants it. The Department of Health and Human Services shall take any such action as may be necessary to assure that recipients of aid to the aged, blind and disabled shall continue to receive as high a percentage of their current assistance as may be possible. To carry out this legislative directive, the department shall utilize all the state funds expected to be saved by a reduction in benefits of recipients of aid to the aged, blind and disabled resulting from this chapter to raise the standards of aid to the aged, blind and disabled at a total cost in state funds equivalent to the savings in state funds which would be expected as a result of this chapter.

Benefits received under this chapter may not be included as income for purposes of any state or municipally administered public benefit program but except for general assistance under Title 22, chapter 1161, unless used for basic necessities as defined in Title 22, section 4301, subsection 1. Benefits received under this chapter may be considered for purposes of determining eligibility for abatement under section 841, subsection 2.

These benefits do not duplicate and shall not reduce the amount of any individual's payment under the Temporary Assistance for Needy Families program because those payments are insufficient to meet the total amount of money determined to be needed for housing in accordance with the state standard of need under that program.

§6218. Readability; application; instructions

The application form and instructions used by applicants for assistance under the Maine Residents Property Tax Program and its successor, if any, shall have a readability score, as determined by a recognized instrument for measuring adult literacy levels, equivalent to no higher than a 6th grade reading level.

§6219. Outreach plan required

The Bureau of Revenue Services shall develop and implement a plan of outreach to ensure that all eligible households are made aware of assistance available under the Maine Residents Property Tax Program and its successor, if any.

§6220. Coordination required

The bureau shall seek the advice and cooperation of the Department of Health and Human Services; advocates for elderly and low-income individuals; and other interested agencies and organizations in developing the application form and instruction booklet for the Maine Residents Property Tax Program and the outreach plan required by section 6219.

CHAPTER 907-A
MUNICIPAL PROPERTY TAX ASSISTANCE

§6232. Municipal Authority

The legislative body of a municipality may by ordinance adopt a program to provide benefits to persons with homesteads in the municipality. A municipality may choose to restrict the program to persons who are at least 62 years of age.

1. Conditions of program.   Except as provided in subsection 1-A, a program adopted under this section must:

A.  Require that the claimant has a homestead in the municipality;

B.  Provide benefits for both owners and renters of homesteads; and

C.  Calculate benefits in a way that provides greater benefits proportionally to claimants with lower  incomes in relation to their property taxes accrued or rent constituting property taxes accrued.

1-A.  Volunteer program.   A municipality may by ordinance adopt a program that permits claimants who are at least 60 years of age to earn benefits up to a maximum of $750 by volunteering to provide services to the municipality. A program adopted under this subsection does not need to meet the requirements of subsection 1, paragraph B or C. Benefits provided under this subsection must be related to the amount of volunteer service provided. Benefits received under this subsection may not be considered income for purposes of Part 8. A municipality may by ordinance establish procedures and additional standards of eligibility for a program adopted under this subsection.

3. Repeal of program.  A municipality that has adopted a program under this section may repeal it through the same procedure by which the program was adopted.

           

CHAPTER 908

DEFERRED COLLECTION OF HOMESTEAD PROPERTY TAXES

§6250. Definitions

As used in this chapter, unless the context otherwise indicates, the following terms have the following meanings.

2. Bureau.  "Bureau" means the Bureau of Revenue Services.

3. Homestead.  "Homestead" means the owner-occupied principal dwelling, either real or personal property, owned by the taxpayer and up to 10 contiguous acres upon which it is located. If the homestead is located in a multi-unit building, the homestead is the portion of the building actually used as the principal dwelling and its percentage of the value of the common elements and of the value of the tax lot upon which it is built. The percentage is the value of the unit consisting of the homestead compared to the total value of the building exclusive of the common elements, if any.

4. Tax-deferred property.  "Tax-deferred property" means the property upon which taxes are deferred under this chapter.

5. Taxes.  "Taxes" or "property taxes" means ad valorem taxes, assessments, fees and charges entered on the assessment and tax roll.

6. Taxpayer.  "Taxpayer" means an individual who has filed a claim for deferral under this chapter or individuals who have jointly filed a claim for deferral under this chapter.

§6251. Deferral of tax on homestead; joint election; age requirement; filing claim

1. Filing claim.  Subject to section 6252, an individual or 2 or more individuals jointly may elect to defer the property taxes on their homestead by filing a claim for deferral with the municipal assessor after January 1st but no later than April 1st of the first year in which deferral is claimed if:

A. The individual or each individual, in the case of 2 or more individuals filing a claim jointly, is 65 years of age or older on April 1st of the year in which the claim is filed; and

B. The individual or, in the case of 2 or more individuals filing a claim jointly, all the individuals together have household income, as defined in section 6201, subsection 7, of less than $32,000 for the calendar year immediately preceding the calendar year in which the claim is filed.

The municipal assessor shall forward each claim filed under this subsection to the bureau within 30 days of receipt and the bureau shall determine if the property is eligible for deferral.

Claims from new applicants may not be filed pursuant to this chapter prior to January 1, 1994. For purposes of this section, "new applicants" means any person or persons that have not filed claims prior to April 1, 1991.

2. Property tax deferral.  When the taxpayer elects to defer property taxes for any year by filing a claim for deferral under subsection 1, it shall have the effect of:

A. Deferring the payment of the property taxes levied on the homestead for the municipal fiscal year beginning on or after April 1st of that year;

B. Continuing deferral of the payment by the taxpayer of any property taxes deferred under this chapter for previous years that have not become delinquent under section 6260; and
C. Continuing the deferral of the payment by the taxpayer of any future property taxes for as long as the provisions of section 6252 are met.

3. Guardian compliance.  If a guardian or conservator has been appointed for an individual otherwise qualified to obtain deferral of taxes under this chapter, the guardian or conservator may act for that individual in complying with this chapter.

4. Trustee compliance.  If a trustee of an inter vivos trust which was created by and is revocable by an individual, who is both the trustor and a beneficiary of the trust and who is otherwise qualified to obtain a deferral of taxes under this chapter, owns the fee simple estate under a recorded instrument of sale, the trustee may act for the individual in complying with this chapter.

5. Spouse not required to claim.  Nothing in this section may be construed to require a spouse of an individual to file a claim jointly with the individual even though the spouse may be eligible to claim the deferral jointly with the individual.

6. Appeal.  Any person aggrieved by the denial of a claim for deferral of homestead property taxes or disqualification from deferral of homestead property taxes may file an appeal of the State Tax Assessor's determination, within 30 days of notification of denial or disqualification by the State Tax Assessor, with the State Board of Property Tax Review as provided in chapter 101, subchapter II-A.

§6252. Property entitled to deferral

In order to qualify for tax deferral under this chapter, the property must meet all of the following requirements when the claim is filed and thereafter as long as the payment of taxes by the taxpayer is deferred.

1. Claimant's homestead.  The property must be the homestead of the individual or individuals who file the claim for deferral, except for an individual required to be absent from the homestead by reason of health.

2. Fee simple estate.  The person claiming the deferral must, solely or together with the person's spouse, own the fee simple estate or be purchasing the fee simple estate under a recorded instrument of sale, or 2 or more persons must together own or be purchasing the fee simple estate with rights of survivorship under a recorded instrument of sale if all owners live in the homestead and if all owners apply for the deferral jointly.

3. No prohibitions.  There must be no prohibition to the deferral of property taxes contained in any provision of federal law, rule or regulation applicable to a mortgage, trust deed, land sale contract or conditional sale contract for which the homestead is security.

§6253. Claim forms; contents

1.  Administration.  A taxpayer's claim for deferral under this chapter shall be in writing on a form supplied by the bureau and shall:

A.  Describe the homestead;

B.  Recite facts establishing the eligibility for the deferral under the provisions of this chapter, including facts that establish that the household income as defined in section 6201, subsection 7, of the individual, or, in the case of 2 or more individuals claiming the deferral jointly, was less than $32,000 for the calendar year immediately preceding the calendar year in which the claim is filed; and

C.  Have attached any documentary proof required by the bureau to show that the requirements of section 6252 have been met.

2.  Statement verification.  There shall be annexed to the claim a statement verified by a written declaration of the applicant making the claim to the effect that the statements contained in the claim are true.

§6254. State liens against tax-deferred property

1. Lien. The lien provided in section 552 must continue for purposes of protecting the State's deferred tax interest in tax deferred property. When it is determined that one of the events set out in section 6259 has occurred and that a property is no longer eligible for property tax deferral under this chapter, the State Tax Assessor shall send notice by certified mail to the owner, or the owner's heirs or devisees, listing the total amount of deferred property taxes, including accrued interest and costs of all the years and demanding payment on or before April 30th of the year following the tax year in which the circumstances causing withdrawal from the provisions of this chapter occur.

When the circumstances listed in section 6259, subsection 4 occur, the amount of deferred taxes is due and payable 5 days before the date of removal of the property from the State.

If the deferred tax liability of a property has not been satisfied by the April 30th demand date, the State Tax Assessor shall, within 30 days, record in the registry of deeds in the county where the real estate is located a tax lien certificate signed by the State Tax Assessor or bearing the assessor's facsimile signature, setting forth the total amount of deferred tax liability, a description of the real estate on which the tax was deferred and an allegation that a tax lien is claimed on the real estate to secure payment of the tax, that a demand for payment of the tax has been made in accordance with this section and that the tax remains unpaid.

At the time of the recording of the tax lien certificate in the registry of deeds, the State Tax Assessor shall send by certified mail, return receipt requested, to each record holder of a mortgage on the real estate, to the holder's last known address, a true copy of the tax lien certificate. The cost to be paid by the property owner, or the owner's heirs or devisees, is the sum of the fees for recording and discharging of the lien as established by Title 33, section 751, plus $13. Upon redemption, the State Tax Assessor shall prepare and record a discharge of the tax lien mortgage. The lien described in section 552 is the basis of this tax lien mortgage procedure.

The filing of the tax lien certificate, provided for in this section, in the registry of deeds creates a mortgage on the real estate to the State and has priority over all other mortgages, liens, attachments and encumbrances of any nature and gives to the State all rights usually instant to a mortgage, except that the mortgagee does not have any right of possession of the real estate until the right of redemption expires.

Payments accepted during the redemption period may not interrupt or extend the redemption period or in any way affect the foreclosure procedures.

2. Foreclosure.  If the mortgage, including interest and costs, is not paid within 12 months of the date on which the certificate was filed in the registry of deeds, as provided in this section, the mortgage is deemed foreclosed and the right of redemption expired.

2-A. Inventory.  The filing of the certificate in the registry of deeds is sufficient notice of the existence of the mortgage. Whenever the State acquires title to real estate, the State Tax Assessor shall cause an inventory to be made of all such real estate. The inventory must contain a description of the real estate, amount of accrued taxes by years and any information necessary to the administration and supervision of the real estate.

2-B. Sale; legislative authorization.  After authorization by the Legislature, the State Tax Assessor shall, sell or convey any such real estate, but shall in all cases of sales, except sales to former owners of the real estate, give public notice of the proposal to sell the real estate and shall ask for competitive bids and sell to the highest bidder with the right of rejecting all bids. Sales of any such real estate may not be made by the State Tax Assessor except by authorization of the Legislature.

The supervision, administration, utilization and vindication of the right of the State in any such real estate is vested in the State Tax Assessor until the title is conveyed or otherwise disposed of by the Legislature.

3. Foreclosure receipts.  Following the sale by the State Tax Assessor of real property acquired through the tax lien certificate procedure outlined in this chapter, all claims of the State evolving from the homestead property tax exemption are satisfied, as well as any tax delinquencies relative to the property in question in the municipality where located. The residual amount resulting from the sale of the property is to be returned to the former owner or to the owner's heirs or devisees.

§6255. Listing of tax-deferred property; interest accrual

1.  Tax-deferred property list.  If eligibility for deferral of homestead property is established as provided in this chapter, the bureau shall notify the municipal assessor and the municipal assessor shall show on the current ad valorem assessment and tax roll which property is tax-deferred property by an entry clearly designating that property as tax-deferred property.

2.  Tax statement.  When requested by the bureau, the municipal tax collector shall send to the bureau as soon as the taxes are extended upon the roll the tax statement for each tax-deferred property.

3.  Interest.  Interest shall accrue on the actual amount of taxes advanced to the municipality for the tax-deferred property at the rate of 6% per annum.

§6256. Recording liens in county; recording constitutes notice of state lien

1.  Recording of liens.  For each municipality in which there is tax-deferred property, the bureau shall cause to be recorded in the mortgage records of the county, a list of tax-deferred properties of that municipality.  The list must contain a description of the property as listed in the municipal valuation together with the name of the owner listed on the valuation.  The list must be corrected annually to reflect the addition or deletion of deferred properties as well as partial payments received.

2.  Notice of recording.  The recording of the tax-deferred properties under subsection 1 is notice that the bureau claims a lien against those properties in the amount of the deferred taxes plus interest together with any fees paid to the county register of deeds in connection with the recording, release or satisfaction of the lien, even though the amount of taxes, interest or fees is not listed.

§6257. Municipal tax collector to receive amount equivalent to deferred taxes from State

1.  Payment of deferred taxes.  Within 30 days of the receipt of information from a municipal tax collector concerning the amount of deferred property taxes in the respective municipality, the State Tax Assessor shall certify that amount to the Treasurer of the State who shall make payment on or before the 15th day of the following month.

1-A.  Prorated payment of deferred taxes.  The State Tax Assessor is authorized to prorate payments to municipalities for claims filed pursuant to this chapter if the amount available in the Senior Property Tax Deferral Revolving Account established in section 6266 in any fiscal year is insufficient to make full payments to all municipalities.  If the applicant for deferred taxes can not pay the difference due to the municipality, the municipality that does not receive the full amount of deferred property taxes may cause a tax lien certificate to be filed in the county registry of deeds for the amount not received.

1-B.  Reimbursement to taxpayers.  The State Tax Assessor is authorized to reimburse taxpayers who qualified under this chapter and who have paid property taxes that would have otherwise been deferred but for the prorating of benefits as allowed in subsection 1-A.
2.  Accounts maintained.  The bureau shall maintain accounts for each deferred property and shall accrue interest only on the actual amount of taxes advanced to the municipality.

§6258. Annual notice to taxpayer

1.  Annual deferral notice.  On or before December 15th of each year, the bureau shall send a notice to each taxpayer who has claimed deferral of property taxes for the current tax year.  The notice must:

A.  Inform the taxpayer that the property taxes have been deferred in the current year;

B.  Show the total amount of deferred taxes remaining unpaid since initial application for deferral and the interest accruing therein to November 15th of the current year;

C.  Inform the taxpayer that voluntary payment of the deferred taxes may be made at any time to the bureau; and

D.  Contain any other information that the bureau considers necessary to facilitate administration of the homestead deferral program including, but not limited to, the right of the taxpayer to submit any amount of money to reduce the total amount of the deferred taxes and interest.

2.  Notice mailed.  The bureau shall give the notice required under subsection 1 by mail sent to the residence address of the taxpayer as shown in the claim for deferral or as otherwise determined by the bureau to be the correct address of the taxpayer.

§6259. Events requiring payment of deferred tax and interest

Subject to section 6261, all deferred property taxes, including accrued interest, become payable as provided in section 6260 when:

1.  Death of claimant.  The taxpayer who claimed deferment of collection of property taxes on the homestead dies or, if there was more than one claimant, the survivor of the taxpayers who originally claimed deferment of collection of property taxes under section 6251 dies;

2.  Sale of property.  The property with respect to which deferment of collection of taxes is claimed is sold, a contract to sell is entered into, or some person other than the taxpayer who claimed the deferment becomes the owner of the property;

3.  Claimant moves.  The tax-deferred property is no longer the homestead of the taxpayer who claimed the deferral, except in the case of a taxpayer required to be absent from that tax-deferred property by reason of health; or

4.  Removal of home.  The tax-deferred property, a mobile or floating home, is moved out of the State.

§6260. Time for payments; delinquencies

Whenever any of the circumstances listed in section 6259 occurs:

1.  Continuation of assessment year.  The deferral of taxes for the assessment year in which the circumstance occurs shall continue for that assessment year;

2.  Deferred property taxes due.  The amounts of deferred property taxes, including accrued interest, for all years are due and payable to the bureau April 30th of the year following the calendar year in which the circumstance occurs, except as provided in subsection 3 and section 6261;

3.  Out-of-state move.  Notwithstanding the provisions of subsection 2 and section 6263, when the circumstance listed in section 6259, subsection 4, occurs, the amount of deferred taxes shall be due and payable 5 days before the date of removal of the property from the State; and

4.  Delinquency.  If the amounts falling due as provided in this section are not paid on the indicated due date or as extended under section 6263, those amounts shall be deemed delinquent as of that date and the property shall be subject to foreclosure as provided in section 6254.

§6261. Election by spouse to continue tax deferral

1.  Continuation by spouse.  When one of the circumstances listed in section 6259, subsections 1 to 3 occurs, the spouse who did not or was not eligible to file a claim jointly with the taxpayer may continue the property in its deferred tax status by filing a claim within the time and in the manner provided under section 6251 if:

A.  The spouse of the taxpayer is or will be 65 years of age or older not later than 6 months from the day the circumstance listed in section 6259, subsections 1 to 3 occurs; and

B.  The property is the homestead of the spouse of the taxpayer and meets the requirements of section 6252, subsection 2.

2.  Continuation of deferral by spouse.  A spouse who does not meet the age requirements of subsection 1, paragraph A, but is otherwise qualified to continue the property in its tax-deferred status under subsection 1 may continue the deferral of property taxes deferred for previous years by filing a claim within the time and in the manner provided under section 6251.  If a spouse eligible for and continuing the deferral of taxes previously deferred under this subsection becomes 65 years of age prior to April 1st of any year, the spouse may elect to continue the deferral of previous years' taxes deferred under this subsection and may elect to defer the current assessment year's taxes on the homestead by filing a claim within the time and in the manner provided under section 6251.  Thereafter, payment of the taxes levied on the homestead and deferred under this subsection and payment of taxes levied on the homestead in the current assessment year and in future years may be deferred in the manner provided in and subject to this chapter.

3.  Filing extension.  Notwithstanding that section 6251 requires that a claim be filed no later than April 1st, if the bureau determines that good and sufficient cause exists for the failure of a spouse to file a claim under this section on or before April 1st, the claim may be filed within 90 days after notice of taxes due and payable under section 6260 is mailed or delivered by the department to the taxpayer or spouse.

§6262. Voluntary payment of deferred tax and interest

1.  Payments.  All payments of deferred taxes shall be made to the bureau.

2.  Taxes and interest.  Subject to subsection 3, all or part of the deferred taxes and accrued interest may at any time be paid to the bureau by:

A.  The taxpayer or the spouse of the taxpayer; or

B.  The next of kin of the taxpayer, heir at law of the taxpayer, child of the taxpayer or any person having or claiming a legal or equitable interest in the property.

3.  Notice of payment.  A person listed in subsection 2, paragraph B, may make the payments only if no objection is made by the taxpayer within 30 days after the bureau deposits in the mail notice to the taxpayer of the fact that the payment has been tendered.

4.  Payment application.  Any payment made under this section shall be applied first against accrued interest and any remainder against the deferred taxes.  This payment does not affect the deferred-tax status of the property.  Unless otherwise provided by law, this payment does not give the person paying the taxes any interest in the property or any claim against the estate, in the absence of a valid agreement to the contrary.

5.  Lien discharge.  When the deferred taxes and accrued interest are paid in full and the property is no longer subject to deferral, the bureau shall prepare and record in the county in which the property is located a lien discharge.

§6263. Extension of time for payment upon death of claimant or spouse

1.  Payment extension.  If the taxpayer who claimed homestead property tax deferral dies, or if a spouse who continued the deferral under section 6261 dies, the bureau may extend the time for payment of the deferred taxes and interest accruing with respect to the taxes becoming due and payable under section 6260, subsection 2, if:

A.  The homestead property becomes property of an individual or individuals:

(1)  By inheritance or devise; or

(2)  If the individual or individuals are heirs or devisees in the course of settlement of the estate;

B.  An individual or individuals commence occupancy of the property as a principal residence on or before August 15th of the calendar year following the calendar year of death; or

C.  An individual or individuals make application to the bureau for an extension of time for payment of the deferred taxes and interest prior to August 15th of the calendar year following the calendar year of death.

2.  Extension terms.  Subject to paragraph B, an extension granted under this section shall be for a period not to exceed 5 years after August 15th of the calendar year following the calendar year of death. The terms and conditions under which the extension is granted shall be in accordance with a written agreement entered into by the bureau and the individual or individuals.

An extension granted under this section shall terminate immediately if:

A. The homestead property is sold or otherwise transferred by any party to the extension agreement;

B.  All of the heirs or devisees who are parties to the extension agreement cease to occupy the property as a principal residence; or

C.  The homestead property, a mobile or floating home is moved out of the State.

3.  Accrued interest.  During the period of extension, and until paid, the deferred taxes shall continue to accrue interest in the same manner and at the same rate as provided under section 6255, subsection 3.  No interest may accrue upon interest.

§6264. Limitations

Nothing in this chapter is intended to or may be construed to: 

1.  Foreclosure.  Prevent the collection, by foreclosure, of property taxes which become a lien against tax-deferred property;

3.  Land provisions.  Affect any provision of any mortgage, or other instrument relating to land, requiring a person to pay property taxes.

§6265. Deed or contract clauses preventing application for deferral prohibited; clauses void

After the effective date of this chapter, it shall be unlawful for any mortgage trust deed or land sale contract to contain a clause or statement that prohibits the owner from applying for the benefits of the deferral of homestead property taxes provided in this chapter.  Any such clause or statement in a mortgage trust deed or land sale contract executed after the effective date of this chapter shall be void.

§6266. Senior Property Tax Deferral Revolving Account; sources; uses

1. Revolving account.  This section establishes in the State Treasury the Senior Property Tax Deferral Revolving Account to be used by the bureau for the purpose of making the payments to municipal tax collectors of property taxes deferred for tax years beginning on or after April 1, 1990, as required by section 6257.

2.  Advancement of funds.  The funds necessary to make payments under subsection 1 shall be advanced to the bureau from time to time as necessary by the Treasurer of State as an appropriation from the General Fund.

3. Payments credited.  All sums of money received by the bureau under this chapter as repayments of deferred property taxes including the interest accrued under section 6255, subsection 3, shall, upon receipt, be credited to the revolving account and shall be available for the purposes of subsection 1.

4.  Appropriation request.  If there is not sufficient money in the revolving account to make the payments required by subsection 1, the State Tax Assessor shall request an appropriation from the General Fund which together with the money in the revolving account will provide an amount sufficient to make the required payments.

5.  General Fund reimbursement.  When the bureau determines that funds in sufficient amounts are available in the revolving account, the bureau shall repay to the General Fund the amounts advanced as appropriations under subsection 2, plus accrued interest.

§6267. Phase out of elderly tax deferral program

New taxpayer claims for participation in the deferral program provided pursuant to this chapter are not allowed regarding an application filed on or after April 1, 1991.

§ 6271.   Municipal authority

1.  Definitions.   As used in this chapter, unless the context otherwise indicates, the following terms have the following meanings.

A. "Eligible homestead" means the owner-occupied principal dwelling, either real or personal property, owned by a taxpayer and the land upon which it is located. If the dwelling is located in a multiunit building, the eligible homestead is the portion of the building actually used as the principal dwelling and its percentage of the value of the common elements and of the value of the tax lot upon which it is built. The percentage is the value of the dwelling compared to the total value of the building exclusive of the common elements, if any.

B. "Federal poverty level" means the nonfarm income official poverty line for a family of the size involved, as defined by the federal Office of Management and Budget and revised annually in accordance with the United States Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act of 1981, Section 673, Subsection 2.

C. "Household income" has the meaning set out in section 6201, subsection 7.

D. "Program" means a tax deferral program adopted by a municipality pursuant to subsection 2.

E. "Tax-deferred property" means the property upon which taxes are deferred under this chapter.

F. "Taxes" or "property taxes" means ad valorem taxes, assessments, fees and charges entered on the assessment and tax roll.

G. "Taxpayer" means an individual who is responsible for payment of property taxes and has applied to participate or is currently participating in the program under this chapter.

2.  Authority.   The legislative body of a municipality may by ordinance adopt a property tax deferral program for senior citizens, referred to in this section as "the program." Upon application by a taxpayer, a municipality may defer property taxes on property if the following conditions are met:

A.  The property is an eligible homestead where the taxpayer has resided for at least 10 years prior to application;

B.  The taxpayer is an owner of the eligible homestead, is at least 70 years of age on April 1st of the first year of eligibility and occupies the eligible homestead; and

C.  The household income of the taxpayer does not exceed 300% of the federal poverty level.
An application, information submitted in support of an application and files and communications relating to an application for deferral of taxes under the program are confidential. Hearings and proceedings held by a municipality on an application must be held in executive session unless otherwise requested by the applicant. Nothing in this paragraph applies to the recording of liens or lists under subsection 3 or any enforcement proceedings undertaken by the municipality pursuant to this chapter or other applicable law.
The municipality shall make available upon request the most recent list of tax-deferred properties of that municipality required to be filed under subsection 3. The municipality may publish and release as public information statistical summaries concerning the program as long as the release of the information does not jeopardize the confidentiality of individually identifiable information.
3.  Effect of deferral.   If property taxes are deferred under the program, the lien established on the eligible homestead under section 552 continues for the purpose of protecting the municipal interest in the tax-deferred property. Interest on the deferred taxes accrues at the rate of 0.5% above the otherwise applicable rate for delinquent taxes. In order to preserve the right to enforce the lien, the municipality shall record in the county registry of deeds a list of the tax-deferred properties of that municipality. The list must contain a description of each tax-deferred property as listed in the municipal valuation together with the name of the taxpayer listed on the valuation. The list must be updated annually to reflect the addition or deletion of tax-deferred properties, the amount of deferred taxes accrued for each property and payments received.
The recording of the tax-deferred properties under this subsection is notice that the municipality claims a lien against those properties in the amount of the deferred taxes plus interest together with any fees paid to the county registry of deeds in connection with the recording. For a property deleted from the list, the recording serves as notice of release or satisfaction of the lien, even though the amount of taxes, interest or fees is not listed.
4.  Notice.   The State Tax Assessor shall prepare a one-page notice of the effect of the deferral of property taxes under this section, of the right of the municipality to file a tax lien mortgage pursuant to chapter 105 and that the deferred taxes become due and payable as established in subsection 5. This notice must have a readability score, as determined by a recognized instrument for measuring adult literacy levels, equivalent to no higher than a 6th grade reading level. A municipality that adopts the program shall provide a copy of this notice to each taxpayer applying to the program at the time of application and shall also annually provide to each taxpayer in the program, in lieu of a property tax bill, a copy of this notice together with an accounting of taxes deferred and interest accrued.

5.  Lien.   When it is determined that one of the events set out in subsection 6 has occurred and that a property is no longer eligible for property tax deferral under this chapter, the municipality shall send notice by certified mail to the taxpayer, or the taxpayer's heirs or devisees, listing the total amount of deferred property taxes, including accrued interest and costs of all the years and establishing a due and payable date. For events listed in subsection 6, paragraphs A, B and C, payment is due within 45 days of the date of the notice. When the event listed in subsection 6, paragraph D occurs, the total amount of deferred taxes is due and payable 5 days before the date of removal of the property from the State. The municipality shall include in the notice a statement that the lien enforcement procedures pursuant to chapter 105, subchapter 9 apply.

If the deferred tax liability of a property has not been satisfied by the date established pursuant to this subsection, the municipality may enforce the lien according to procedures in chapter 105, subchapter 9.

Partial payments accepted during the 18-month redemption period provided for in section 943 may not interrupt or extend the redemption period or in any way affect foreclosure procedures.

6.  Events requiring the payment of deferred tax and interest.   Subject to subsection 7, all deferred taxes and accrued interest must be paid pursuant to subsection 5 when:

A.  The taxpayer dies;

B.  Some person other than the taxpayer becomes the owner of the property;

C.  The tax-deferred property is no longer occupied by the taxpayer as a principal residence, except that this paragraph does not apply if the taxpayer is required to be absent from the eligible homestead for health reasons; or

D.  The tax-deferred property, a mobile home, is moved out of the State.

7.  Election to continue deferral.   If one of the events listed in subsection 6 occurs, and the ownership of the eligible homestead is transferred to another member of the same household, the transferee may apply to the municipality for continuation of the deferral of taxes if the transferee meets the conditions in subsection 2, paragraphs B and C.

8.  Repeal of program.   A municipality that has adopted the program under this section may discontinue it through the same procedure by which the program was adopted; however, any taxes deferred under the program continue to be deferred under the conditions of the program on the date it was ended.

CHAPTER 915
REIMBURSEMENT FOR TAXES PAID ON CERTAIN BUSINESS PROPERTY

§6651. Definitions

As used in this chapter, unless the context otherwise indicates, the following terms have the following meanings. 

1.  Eligible property.     "Eligible property" means qualified business property first placed in service in the State, or constituting construction in progress commenced in the State, after April 1, 1995 but does not include property that is eligible business equipment as defined in section 691, subsection 1. "Eligible property" includes, without limitation, repair parts, replacement parts, additions, accessions and accessories to other qualified business property placed in service on or before April 1, 1995 if the part, addition, accession or accessory is first placed in service, or constitutes construction in progress, in the State after April 1, 1995, unless that property is eligible business equipment as defined in section 691, subsection 1. "Eligible property" includes used qualified business property if the qualified business property was first placed in service in the State, or constituted construction in progress commenced in the State, after April 1, 1995 but does not include property that is eligible business equipment as defined in section 691, subsection 1. "Eligible property" also includes inventory parts.

2. Inventory parts.  "Inventory parts" includes repair parts, replacement parts, replacement equipment, additions, accessions and accessories on hand but not in service and stocks or inventories of repair parts, replacement parts, replacement equipment, additions, accessions and accessories on hand but not in service if acquired after April 1, 1995, regardless of when placed in service.

2-A. Primarily.  "Primarily" means more than 50% of the time.

3. Qualified business property.  "Qualified business property" means tangible personal property that:

A. Is used or held for use exclusively for a business purpose by the person in possession of it or, in the case of construction in progress or inventory parts, is intended to be used exclusively for a business purpose by the person who will possess that property; and

B. Either:

(1) Was subject to an allowance for depreciation under the Code on April 1st of the property tax year to which the claim for reimbursement relates or would have been subject to an allowance for depreciation under the Code as of that date but for the fact that the property has been fully depreciated; or

(2) In the case of construction in progress or inventory parts, would be subject under the Code to an allowance for depreciation when placed in service or would have been subject to an allowance for depreciation under the Code as of that date but for the fact that the property has been fully depreciated.

"Qualified business property" also includes all property that is affixed or attached to a building or other real estate if it is used to further a particular trade or business activity taking place in that building or on that real estate. "Qualified business property" does not include components or attachments to a building if used primarily to serve the building as a building, regardless of the particular trade or activity taking place in or on the building. "Qualified business property" also does not include land improvements if used primarily to further the use of the land as land, regardless of the particular trade or business activities taking place in or on the land. In the case of construction in progress or inventory parts, the term "used" means intended to be used. "Qualified business property" also does not include any vehicle registered for on-road use on which a tax assessed pursuant to chapter 111 has been paid or any watercraft registered for use on state waters on which a tax assessed pursuant to chapter 112 has been paid.

4. Retail sales activity.  "Retail sales activity" means an activity associated with the selection and purchase of goods or the rental of tangible personal property.

5. Retail sales facility.  "Retail sales facility" means a structure used to serve customers who are physically present at the facility for the purpose of selecting and purchasing goods at retail or for renting tangible personal property. "Retail sales facility" does not include a separate structure that is used as a warehouse or call center facility.

§6652. Reimbursement allowed; limitation

1. Generally. A person against whom taxes have been assessed pursuant to Part 2, except for chapters 111 and 112, with respect to eligible property and who has paid those taxes is entitled to reimbursement of a portion of those taxes from the State as provided in this chapter. The reimbursement under this chapter is the percentage of the taxes assessed and paid with respect to eligible property specified in subsection 4. For purposes of this chapter, a tax applied as a credit against a tax assessed pursuant to chapter 111 or 112 is a tax assessed pursuant to chapter 111 or 112. A taxpayer that included eligible property in its investment credit base under section 5219-M and claimed the credit provided in section 5219-M on its income tax return may not be reimbursed under this chapter for taxes assessed on that same eligible property in a year in which that credit is taken. A successor in interest of a person against whom taxes have been assessed with respect to eligible property is entitled to reimbursement pursuant to this section, whether the tax was paid by the person assessed or by the successor, as long as a transfer of the property in question to the successor has occurred and the successor is the owner of the property as of August 1st of the year in which a claim for reimbursement may be filed pursuant to section 6654. For purposes of this subsection, "successor in interest" includes the initial successor and any subsequent successor. When an eligible successor in interest exists, the successor is the only person to whom reimbursement under this chapter may be made with respect to the transferred property. For an item of eligible property that is first subject to assessment under Part 2 on or after April 1, 2008, and for any item of eligible property for which reimbursement is paid under subsection 4, paragraph B, the reimbursement otherwise payable under this section may not exceed the actual property taxes paid less any tax increment financing refund received with respect to that property.

1-A. Certain persons excluded.  Notwithstanding any other provision of law, the following persons are not eligible for reimbursement pursuant to this chapter:

A. A public utility as defined by Title 35-A, section 102;

B. A person that provides radio paging services as defined by Title 35-A, section 102;

C. A person that provides mobile telecommunications services as defined by Title 35-A, section 102;

D. A cable television company as defined by Title 30-A, section 2001;

E. A person that provides satellite-based direct television broadcast services; and

F. A person that provides multichannel, multipoint television distribution services.

This subsection applies retroactively to property tax years beginning after April 1, 1995.

1-B. Certain property excluded.  Notwithstanding any other provision of law, reimbursement pursuant to this chapter may not be made with respect to the following property:

A. Office furniture, including, without limitation, tables, chairs, desks, bookcases, filing cabinets and modular office partitions;

B. Lamps and lighting fixtures;

C. Gambling machines or devices, including any device, machine, paraphernalia or equipment that is used or usable in the playing phases of any gambling activity as that term is defined in Title 8, section 1001, subsection 15, whether that activity consists of gambling between persons or gambling by a person involving the playing of a machine. "Gambling machines or devices" includes, without limitation:

(1) Associated equipment as defined in Title 8, section 1001, subsection 2;

(2) Computer equipment used directly and primarily in the operation of a slot machine as defined in Title 8, section 1001, subsection 39;

(3) An electronic video machine as defined in Title 17, section 1831, subsection 4;

(4) Equipment used in the playing phases of lottery schemes; and

(5) Repair and replacement parts of a gambling machine or device.

D.  Personal property that would otherwise be entitled to reimbursement under this chapter used primarily to support a telecommunications antenna used by a telecommunications business subject to the tax imposed by section 457.

Property affected by this subsection that was eligible for reimbursement pursuant to this chapter of property taxes paid for the 1996 property tax year is grandfathered into the program and continues to be eligible for reimbursements unless it subsequently becomes ineligible.

1-C. Certain energy facilities.  Reimbursement for certain energy facilities under this chapter is limited as follows.

A. Reimbursement may not be made for a natural gas pipeline, including pumping or compression stations, storage depots and appurtenant facilities used in the transportation, delivery or sale of natural gas, but not including a pipeline that is less than a mile in length and is owned by a consumer of natural gas delivered through the pipeline.

B. Except as provided in paragraph C, reimbursement may not be made for property used to produce or transmit energy primarily for sale. Energy is primarily for sale if during the property tax year immediately preceding the property tax year for which a claim is being made 2/3 or more of the useful energy is directly or indirectly sold and transmitted through the facilities of a transmission and distribution utility as defined in Title 35-A, section 102, subsection 20-B.

C. A cogeneration facility is eligible for reimbursement on that portion of property taxes paid multiplied by a fraction, the numerator of which is the total amount of useful energy produced by the facility during the property tax year immediately preceding the property tax year for which a claim is being made that is directly used by a manufacturing facility without transmission over the facilities of a transmission and distribution utility as defined in Title 35-A, section 102, subsection 20-B and the denominator of which is the total amount of useful energy produced by the facility during the property tax year immediately preceding the property tax year for which a claim is being made.

D. For purposes of this subsection, unless the context indicates otherwise, the following terms have the following meanings.

(1) "Cogeneration facility" means the eligible property within a facility that produces electrical energy, thermal energy or both for commercial or industrial use when less than 2/3 of the useful energy produced by the facility during the property tax year is sold and transmitted directly or indirectly through the facilities of a transmission and distribution utility, as defined in Title 35-A, section 102, subsection 20-B. "Cogeneration facility" includes eligible property within a heat recovery steam generator.

(2) "Useful energy" is energy in any form that does not include waste heat, efficiency losses, line losses or other energy dissipation.

1-D. Retail sales facilities.  Reimbursement pursuant to this chapter may not be made with respect to property that is located in a retail sales facility exceeding 100,000 square feet of interior customer selling space and used primarily in a retail sales activity, unless the facility is owned by a business whose Maine-based operation derives less than 50% of its total annual revenue on a calendar-year basis from sales that are subject to Maine sales tax. This subsection applies to property tax years beginning after April 1, 2006. Property affected by this subsection that was eligible for reimbursement pursuant to this chapter for property taxes paid for the 2006 property tax year is grandfathered into the program and continues to be eligible for reimbursement to the extent permitted by this chapter as it existed on April 1, 2006, unless that property subsequently becomes ineligible.

2. Limitation.  Reimbursement may not be made by the State Tax Assessor pursuant to this chapter with respect to the payment of taxes assessed against property that is entitled to exemption pursuant to section 656, subsection 1, paragraph E or any other provision of law except that reimbursement must be made with respect to the payment of taxes assessed against property that has not been certified for exemption pursuant to section 656, subsection 1, paragraph E but that is entitled to exemption pursuant to that provision if that property has been placed in service after the December 1st immediately preceding April 1st of the tax year for which reimbursement is sought but prior to April 1st of the property tax year for which reimbursement is sought. The claimant may seek reconsideration, pursuant to section 151, of the assessor's denial of reimbursement under this subsection. If the assessor denies a reimbursement claim on the ground that the property in question is entitled to exemption under section 656, subsection 1, paragraph E and the claimant seeks reconsideration of the denial, the assessor shall, at the claimant's request, allow the claimant up to one year to obtain a statement from the Commissioner of Environmental Protection that the property at issue is not exempt. If the claimant timely produces such a statement or otherwise demonstrates that the property is not exempt, the assessor shall allow the reimbursement.

4. Reimbursement percentage.  The reimbursement under this chapter is an amount equal to the percentage specified in paragraphs A and B of taxes assessed and paid with respect to each item of eligible property , except that for claims filed for application periods that begin on August 1, 2006, August 1, 2009, August 1, 2010 or August 1, 2013 the reimbursement is 90% of that amount and for claims filed for the application period that begins on August 1, 2014, the reimbursement is 80% of that amount.

A. For each of the first to 12th years for which reimbursement is made, the percentage is 100%.

B. Pursuant to section 699, subsection 2, reimbursement under this chapter after the 12th year for which reimbursement is made is according to the following percentages of taxes assessed and paid with respect to each item of eligible property.

(1) For the 13th year for which reimbursement is made, the percentage is 75%.

(2) For the 14th year for which reimbursement is made, the percentage is 70%.

(3) For the 15th year for which reimbursement is made, the percentage is 65%.

(4) For the 16th year for which reimbursement is made, the percentage is 60%.

(5) For the 17th year for which reimbursement is made, the percentage is 55%.

(6) For the 18th year for which reimbursement is made and for subsequent years, the percentage is 50%.

§6653. Taxpayer to obtain information

Before filing a request for reimbursement with the State Tax Assessor pursuant to section 6654, a taxpayer must notify the assessor or assessors for any taxing jurisdiction in which eligible property is subject to tax and for which the taxpayer intends to claim reimbursement that the taxpayer intends to file a reimbursement request. The notification must also include a list of the property that the taxpayer believes constitutes eligible property, the original cost of that property, the date that property was acquired and whether the property was acquired new or used. The taxpayer must submit to the assessor or assessors of each taxing jurisdiction at the same time a request that the assessor or assessors of the taxing jurisdiction provide to the taxpayer a statement identifying the assessed just value of eligible property for which reimbursement will be requested and the associated tax attributed to that property. If the taxpayer submits the request to the assessor or assessors 60 days or more before the commitment date for the property tax year at issue, the assessor or assessors of the taxing jurisdiction shall make the statement available to the taxpayer at the time the taxing jurisdiction first bills the taxpayer for property taxes for the property tax year at issue. If the taxpayer submits the request to the assessor or assessors less than 60 days before the commitment date or after the commitment date, the assessor or assessors shall make the statement available to the taxpayer within 60 days after the request is made.

§6654. Claim for reimbursement

A person entitled to reimbursement of property taxes paid with respect to eligible property pursuant to section 6652 may file a claim for reimbursement with the State Tax Assessor. The reimbursement claim must be filed with the State Tax Assessor on or after August 1st and on or before the following December 31st for property taxes paid during the preceding calendar year for which no previous reimbursement pursuant to this chapter has been made. For good cause, the State Tax Assessor may at any time extend the time for filing a claim for reimbursement for a period not exceeding 60 days from the original due date. Except as otherwise provided, the claim must be accompanied by the statement obtained by the claimant pursuant to section 6653. If the claimant requests reimbursement of an amount of tax that differs from the amount of tax specified for the eligible property in the statement provided by the assessor or assessors of the taxing jurisdiction, the claimant must attach to the claim form an explanation of the reasons for that difference and the State Tax Assessor shall determine the correct amount of reimbursement to which the claimant is entitled, taking into consideration both the statement from the assessor or assessors and the taxpayer's explanation. If, for any reason, the claimant is unable to obtain the statement specified in section 6653 from the assessor or assessors within the time specified in section 6653, the claimant must attach to the claim form an explanation of the amount of reimbursement requested and the State Tax Assessor shall process the claim without that statement.

§6655. Forms

The State Tax Assessor shall prescribe forms for the notice of claim and statement of the assessor or assessors provided in section 6653 and the claim for reimbursement, with instructions, and make those forms available to taxpayers and taxing jurisdictions.  The forms must include a checkoff to indicate if the applicant is also receiving tax increment financing. 

§6656. Payment of claims

1. Reimbursement claim.  Notwithstanding any other provision of law, except as provided in section 6652 and section 6662, upon receipt of a timely and properly completed claim for reimbursement, the State Tax Assessor shall certify that the claimant is eligible for reimbursement under this chapter. The assessor shall determine the benefit for each claimant and shall certify to the State Controller the amounts to be transferred to the Business Equipment Tax Reimbursement reserve account established, maintained and administered by the State Controller from General Fund undedicated revenue.

2. Pay certified amounts.  The assessor shall pay the certified amounts to each approved applicant that qualifies for the benefit under this chapter by November 1st or within 90 days after receipt of the claim, whichever is later. Interest is not allowed on any payment made to a claimant pursuant to this chapter.
3Assignment of reimbursement payments.  A claimant may assign its right to payments under this chapter to secure a loan from the Finance Authority of Maine, and such an assignment, notwithstanding any contrary provision of law, is a legally valid assignment binding upon the claimant and its successors in interest. Upon notice of such an assignment given to the assessor by the Finance Authority of Maine and written confirmation of such an assignment signed by the claimant, the assessor shall pay to the Finance Authority of Maine any payments due to the claimant pursuant to this chapter and assigned to the Finance Authority of Maine until the Finance Authority of Maine notifies the assessor that the assignment has been released.

§6657. Audit of claim

The State Tax Assessor has the authority to audit any claim filed under this chapter and take any action provided in section 384. If the State Tax Assessor determines that the amount of the claimed reimbursement is incorrect, the State Tax Assessor shall redetermine the claim and notify the claimant in writing of the redetermination and the State Tax Assessor's reasons. If the claimant has received reimbursement of an amount that the State Tax Assessor concludes should not have been reimbursed, the State Tax Assessor may issue an assessment for that amount within 3 years from the date the reimbursement claim was filed or at any time if a fraudulent reimbursement claim was filed. The claimant may seek reconsideration, pursuant to section 151, of the redetermination or assessment. 

§6658. Subsequent changes

If, after a claim for reimbursement has been filed, the associated property tax assessment is reduced or abated for any reason, or the property tax paid is applied as a credit against the tax assessed pursuant to chapter 111 or 112, the claimant shall file, within 60 days after receipt of the reduction, abatement or credit, an amended claim for reimbursement reflecting the reduction, abatement or credit. If a claimant has received reimbursement for property tax that is reduced, abated or credited against the tax assessed pursuant to chapter 111 or 112, the claimant shall, within 60 days of receipt of the reduction, abatement or credit, refund to the Bureau of Revenue Services the amount of the reimbursement attributable to the property tax that has been reduced, abated or credited. If the claimant fails to make the refund within the 60-day period, the State Tax Assessor, within 3 years from the claimant's receipt of reimbursement, may issue an assessment for the amount that the claimant owes to the Bureau of Revenue Services. The claimant may seek reconsideration, pursuant to section 151, of the assessment.

§6659. Legislative findings

The Legislature finds that encouragement of the growth of capital investment in this State is in the public interest and promotes the general welfare of the people of the State.  The Legislature further finds that the high cost of owning qualified business property in this State is a disincentive to the growth of capital investment in this State.  The Legislature further finds that the program set forth in this chapter is a reasonable means of overcoming this disincentive and will encourage capital investment in this State.

§6660.  Availability of information

Notwithstanding section 191, information contained in applications for reimbursement, the names of persons receiving reimbursement and the amount of reimbursement paid to an applicant may be publicly disclosed by the bureau.  This section does not permit the disclosure of taxpayer identification numbers.

§6661.  Certain leased property

A lessor of eligible property shall pay over to the lessee of that property reimbursement of property taxes received by the lessor under this chapter with respect to that property to the extent that the lessor has been reimbursed for those taxes by the lessee.

§6662.  Disallowance of reimbursement for certain property

Reimbursement under this chapter may not be made for property tax payments made with respect to property located at a facility that has permanently ceased all productive operations on April 1st of the year for which the property taxes are assessed and where no productive operations have been conducted for at least 12 months before the date that reimbursement is requested.  This section does not apply if the owner of the facility has publicly advertised that the facility is available for sale or lease and has made a good faith effort to market and sell or lease the facility to prospective buyers or lessees.

§6663.  Program name

The procedure for business property tax reimbursement provided by this chapter may be referred to as the "Business Equipment Tax Reimbursement" or "BETR" program.

§6664. Report

1. Report to Legislature.   By April 1st annually, the State Tax Assessor shall submit to the joint standing committee of the Legislature having jurisdiction over appropriations and financial affairs and the joint standing committee of the Legislature having jurisdiction over taxation matters a report that contains the following information with regard to persons receiving benefits under this chapter:

A.  A list of persons receiving reimbursement for property taxes both under this chapter and under a tax increment financing agreement;

B.  The total of tax increment financing district property value for each person;

C.  The municipality of each tax increment financing district and the property tax rate for that municipality;

D.  The total tax increment financing district property taxes paid, categorized by real property and personal property;

E.  The total tax increment financing credit enhancement agreement reimbursement for property taxes paid categorized by real property and personal property;

F.  The total reimbursement received by each person under this chapter; and

G.  The extent of overlap between reimbursement for property taxes on personal property under this chapter and under a tax increment financing agreement.

2. Cooperation.  Claimants for reimbursement under this chapter, the Department of Economic and Community Development and municipalities shall provide any information requested by the State Tax Assessor for the completion of the report required by this section.