I’d like to share a few thoughts about the recently repealed Property and Renters Tax Refund Program, also known as the “circuitbreaker” program.

As usual, when the state repeals something, we can be sure the replacement will not be in the best interest of the citizens.

Now we have the “refundable property tax fairness credit” that must be claimed on the Maine income tax form 1040ME. Of course, most of the poor or elderly who filed via the circuitbreaker program don’t file income tax forms. Not to worry, the state will help us out with a work sheet that must be read carefully since our refund depends on it.

What’s going to hurt the poor and elderly most is changing the percentage of gross income from 4 percent to 10 percent in the formula. This alone will cut refunds for about half of those filing. Add to that the lowering the income bar from $87,000 to $40,000, and many of the others get cut off.

Maine has always been there for its poor and elderly and tried to be fair, but alas there will always be a small minority who will abuse any system that helps the poor. Now all those who need help must live with a harsher set of rules because of a few.

Frank Slason


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