Friday, January 21, 2005

Maine Defeats Plan to Raise Second-Home Taxes

A plan to tax second homes at a higher rate was resoundingly defeated in the Maine legislature yesterday. But the body did vote to reform property taxes in general.

According to news reports, the new legislation will boost the state's share of school funding over four years and impose spending caps on all layers of government. It also will expand two tax breaks that exempt a portion of each home from taxation and help Mainers pay their property taxes.

The higher tax on second homes had worried some legislators who felt that Mainers could be hurt if they owned camps or cottages.

"I can't support somebody's taxes going up on a hunting camp," said one representative.

Under an example used to illustrate the plan, a second-home, camp or cottage valued at $400,000, in a community with a $20 tax rate, would pay $9,000 in taxes, or an additional $1,000 more than a person whose primary residence was valued at $400,000.

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