Town of Anytown
|5 Mill Road||
June 16, 1999
|Anytown, Maine 01234|
Re: Tax Abatement— Account # 456, Map #1, Lot #2
Dear Ms. Smith:
At a meeting held on June 15, 1999, the Anytown board of selectpersons met to consider your application for a poverty tax abatement of the 1998 taxes assessed on property which you own on Mill Road, shown as Map #1, Lot #2 on the town’s tax maps. After reviewing the information that you provided, the board made the following findings and conclusions:
FINDINGS: Ms. Smith is the owner of ˝ acre of land and a modular home assessed as Map #1, Lot #2. This property is Ms. Smith’s primary residence. It is subject to a $5000 mortgage. She is employed as a cashier at a local store earning $16,400 per year. She owns a 1990 Ford Escort that she needs to get to her job. She owns no other items of personal property of significant value. The applicant’s 1998-tax bill is $475.
Ms. Smith’s annual disposable income for the tax year in question was $16,400. The federal poverty level for a household of 4 is $16,450. Her annualized expenses, including mortgage obligation (excluding property taxes) for the ’98 tax year as shown on her application were for $17,800. At least $1,460 of those expenses were for regularly purchased commodities or services which the municipal officers do not consider basic necessities i.e., needs that rank more important in priority than the application’s property taxes. These include, cable TV payments of $460 per year and telephone expenses of $1000 per year over basic rates, where there is no medical or work-related need for long-distance telephone communication.
Therefore, Ms. Smith’s basic needs expenditure (excluding property taxes for the tax year in question) was:
$17,800 (total expenses)
|$1,460 (non-basic necessities)|
|$16,340 (basic necessities)|
Therefore, her disposable annual income of $16,400 exceeded her necessary expenses by $60 (i.e., $16,400 - $16,340).
In the interim period between the close of the tax year in question and the date of this application, Ms. Smith’s income and expense situation has not changed. A tax lien has just been recorded against her property and will foreclose in 18 months if it remains unpaid.
CONCLUSIONS: On an annual basis Ms. Smith’s income of $16,400 exceeded her expenses for basic needs by only $60. Her income is $50 under the federal poverty level, her home is modest and she owns just enough land to satisfy the town’s minimum lot size. She owns no items of personal property, which could be easily converted to cash, other than the car, which she needs for transportation to work. She is not in imminent danger of losing her property because the tax lien is not due to foreclose for 18 months.
DECISION: The selectpersons grant an abatement of $415 (i.e., $475 - $60) to Jill Smith to be applied against her 1998 tax bill on Map #1, Lot #2, due to reasons of poverty. This amount reflects the $60 per year of excess income shown on her application. Ms. Smith is advised to apply for the following tax relief programs: Maine Residents Property Tax Refund Program, Maine Revenue Services and Homestead Exemption (application form must be filed with the municipal assessor).
APPEAL: If you are dissatisfied with this decision, you have a right to appeal the decision to the town’s board of assessment review within 60 days of receiving this decision. If you fail to appeal, the decision of the selectpersons is final.
Please call the town office at #123-4567 if you have any questions.
Selectpersons, Town of Anytown