PEPPERRELL POST
MARCH 2018
Photo of the Foss Road Recreation Complex courtesy of the Saco Parks and Recreation Department
A MESSAGE FROM THE CITY ADMINISTRATOR

Dear Saco Citizens,
 
Photo provided by Emily Roy
The City and School Administration and Finance teams have collaboratively projected budgetary needs for Fiscal Year 2019. At the City Council Meeting on February 5, 2018, the City Council and Mayor gave  a directive to prepare recommended budgets for the City Administrator and Superintendent budget  presentations in March. Materials will be added to our budget page on the website as they are developed. 

Mayor Marston Lovell and I will be available by appointment on Wednesday afternoons from 2:30 PM - 4:00 PM on the second floor of City Hall. For more information or to make an appointment, call (207)282-4191. If you have any requests or concerns that you  would like to discuss, please do not hesitate to contact us to make an appointment. 
 
Best wishes,

Kevin L. Sutherland
City Administrator 
CITY NEWS AND UPDATES

Articles for the March edition were provided by the Assessing Department.  The Assessing Office is located on the first floor of City Hall with the Code Enforcement and Planning Departments. 
Shared Assessor with Biddeford - Frank Yattaw

Did you know ? In June 2016, the City Council voted to employ the City of Biddeford Assessor - Frank Yattaw, CMA as a shared assessor with Biddeford & Saco, eliminating a full time Assessor for Saco; as well as sharing a field appraiser/Lister with Biddeford with an objective to create efficiencies and community good will.
Do you know what all the Property Tax Exemptions Are?

There are several property  tax exemptions that you may qualify for: 
  • Homestead Exemption;
  • Veterans Exemption;
  • Paraplegic Exemptions;
  • Blind Exemption; and
  • Business Equipment Tax Exemption
Here's how exemptions work:
Fully exempt property tax may include real estate or personal property owned by governmental entities, school systems, and other institutions.  Partially Exempt property tax relates to the following categories:
 
Homestead : This program provides a measure of the property tax relief for certain individuals that have owned homestead property in Maine for at least 12 months and make the property they occupy on April 1st their permanent residence. Property owners would receive an exemption of $20,000.
 
Veteran : A veteran who served during a recognized war period and is 62 years or older; or, is receiving 100% disability as a Veteran; or, became 100% disabled while serving, is eligible for $6,000.
 
Paraplegic Veteran : A veteran who received a federal grant for a specially adapted housing unit may receive $50, 000.
 
Blind : an individual who is determined to be legally blind receives $4,000.
 
The above exemptions require completion of an application to the City of Saco Assessing Office.  Exemption claims may require additional information to support the claim for exemption, and must be delivered to the Assessor's Office no later than April 1st.

Maine Individual Income Tax Property Tax Fairness Credit

Eligible Maine taxpayers may receive a portion of the property tax or rent paid during the tax year on the Maine Individual income tax return whether they owe Maine income tax or not.  If the credit exceeds the amount of your individual income tax due for the tax year, the excess will be refunded to you
 
How does someone apply for the refundable credit?
To claim the credit, file FORM 1040ME and SCHEDULE PTFC - For the tax year during which the property tax or rent was paid.
 
Is Assistance Available to Apply for the Credit?
Yes, Maine Revenue Services will assist taxpayers with FORM 1040ME and SCHEDULE PTFC.  For help, call 207-626-8475 weekdays from 8:00 am to 5:00 pm
Or, visit  Maine Revenue Services at:  51 Commerce Drive,  Augusta, Maine 04330
Weekdays 8:00 am to 4:30 pm.
Who is Eligible for the Property Tax Fairness Credit?
  • Were Maine residents during any part of the tax year;
  • Owned or rented a home in Maine during any part of the tax year and lived in that home during the year as a primary residence;
  • Paid property tax or rent on the primary residence in Maine during the tax year; and
  • Meet certain income and property tax and/or rent paid limitations during the tax year.
Business Equipment Tax Reimbursement Program (BETR)  Frequently Asked Questions

What can I expect for a refund?
Generally, your refund will be 100% of the property tax paid on eligible property for the first twelve years for which you claim. The reimbursement rate is 75% for the thirteenth year claimed, and then the rate is reduced by five percentage points annually until the rate is 50%.

The law states that eligible property must first be placed in service in Maine after April 1, 1995. Does this mean that if I purchase property from another Maine business, it is not eligible for this program?
Not necessarily. Eligible property purchased from another Maine business is still eligible if it was placed in service in Maine by the previous owner. The number of years that reimbursement was claimed by the previous owner, however, must be included on the current owner's assessor notification.

How long does it take to process a reimbursement?
After Maine Revenue Services receives a completed application, reimbursements may take up to 90 days to process.

I lease business equipment and I am contractually obligated to pay the taxes even though the leasing company is assessed for the taxes. Can I apply for reimbursement?
No, but the lessor may be required to repay you for taxes you paid. The law states that the claimant for reimbursement must be the "person against whom taxes have been assessed;" therefore, being obligated by a private contract to pay taxes assessed to someone else does not qualify a lessee for reimbursement under the BETR program. Lessors that have applied for and received reimbursement for any property taxes assessed on or after April 1, 2002, however, must refund to the lessee any taxes related to the reimbursement that were previously paid by the lessee.

Call for Conservation Commission Members

The Conservation Commission is an advisory board to the City Council, the Planning Board and the Zoning Board of Appeals on issues dealing with the environment.

The Commission conducts research into local land use and makes recommendations to the Planning Board to assist in preservation and enhancement of natural resources of the City. The Commission also provides environmental and technical assistance to the Planning Board during the Board's review of development proposals and the development of new land use ordinances.

The Saco Conservation Commission meets on the first Monday of each month.
UPCOMING EVENTS AND MEETINGS

Check out the Community Calendar for upcoming meetings and events. 
Analyzing and Restoring Historic Paint and Siding

March 8th at 6:00 PM
Saco City Hall Auditorium 

The Historic Preservation Commissions in  Saco and Biddeford  present "Preserving the Built History of Saco and Biddeford Lecture Series". 

The  5th Lecture, Analyzing & Restoring Historic Paint & Siding will be held on on Thursday, March 8th, 2018 from 6-8pm at Saco City Hall Auditorium. 

The featured Speakers are Amy Cole Ives of Sutherland Conservation & Consulting and John Leeke of HomeWorks. 
River Bend Farm Project Community Meeting 

April 10, 2018 6:30 PM-7:30 PM
Saco City Hall Auditorium 

The Ecology School (TES) invites all interested Saco citizens to attend the River Bend Farm Project Community Meeting on Tuesday, April 10th from 6:30-7:30pm at the Saco City Hall auditorium. The meeting will be moderated by Craig Freshley of Good Group Decisions and the farmyard site design plans will be shared as part of the planning board process.
Mary's Walk and Kerrymen 5K

March 18th at 12:00 PM

Kerrymen 5K at 12:00 PM at the Kerrymen Pub
Mary's Walk at 12:15 PM at Thornton Academy 
Upcoming Committee Meetings

City Council Meetings and Workshops
March 5th, March 12th, and March 19th at 6:30 PM
City Council Chambers 

Conservation Commission Meeting
March 5th at 5:15 PM
Transportation Center

Planning Board Meeting
March 6th at 5:00 PM

Coastal Waters Commission Meeting
March 13th at 7:00 PM 
Transportation Center Conference Room

School Board Meetings
March 8th, March 15th, and March 28th at 7:00 PM
Saco City Hall 

Traffic Safety Committee Meeting
March 15th at 6:30 PM
City Hall Conference Room

Energy and Sustainability Committee Meeting
March 27th at 10:45 AM
City Hall Conference Room 
EMPLOYEE SPOTLIGHT
Pictured (L to R): Michelle Krigbaum, Kate Kern, Frank Yattaw, and Charlene Charland 
(Not pictured: Quang Minh Le) 

The City of Saco Assessor's office is charged with administration of the property tax  laws of the State of Maine.  The Assessment function is a "work flow" department with the final product being the tax commitment each July. This work flow is the annual - find, list, and value - both real and personal property each year.  Our overall department goal is fair and equitable valuations for all property types in our city is certified at market value each year. If you have a question for the Assessing Department, contact one of the friendly employees pictured here! 

City of Saco | (207)282-4191 | info@sacomaine.org | www.SacoMaine.org
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