Rep. Arata's News from the Legislature: Property Tax Relief Payment, Storm Preparedness Resources, New Legislation for 2020, & Upcoming Referendum Election

Arata Header


Town of New Gloucester

385 Intervale Road, New Gloucester, ME 04260

(207) 926-4126 (phone) / (207) 926-4136 (fax)

Town of Poland

1231 Maine Street, Poland, ME 04274

(207) 998-4601 (phone) / (207) 998-2002 (fax)


Property Tax Relief Payment

Office of the Maine State Treasurer will send $100 relief payments to all who qualified in 2019 for the homestead exemption.

Municipal tax assessors have been officially notified about a new law affecting Maine municipalities.  "An Act to Return Funds to Maine Property Taxpayers" requires the Office of the Maine State Treasurer (OST) to provide tax relief payments of no less than $100 to qualifying homesteads when the Property Tax Relief Fund reaches a threshold of funding to support the payments.  In 2019, this threshold will be met based on available funds divided by the number of homesteads net of expenses to administer the program.

The Treasurer has directed all of Maine's municipal tax assessors and the State Tax Assessor to provide the names and addresses of all property taxpayers who qualified for the homestead exemption as of April 1, 2019.  The OST expects that approximately 305,000 property taxpayers will receive a payment.

The State Treasurer is anticipating a payment of approximately $102 to be mailed to qualified Mainers in the months of January and February.

For more information on the program and how the payments will be sent, please click here.

About the homestead exemption program:  This program provides a measure of 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 1 their permanent residence.  Property owners would receive an exemption of $20,000.  For more information, please click here.


Storm Preparedness Resources

Your family may not be together when an emergency happens, so it is important to plan in advance how you will contact one another and how you will get back together.

Emergency Contact Cards and Plans

FEMA's  Family Emergency Plans for Kids and Parents Prepare yourself and your family for a disaster by making an emergency plan.  Download the Family Communication Plan for Parents and Kids, print the pages, and fill them in offline.

American Red Cross:  Family Emergency Contact Cards Print out a card for every member of your household.  Fill in a card for each family member with emergency contact information (work, school, cell phone numbers, etc.)  Fold to fit in a pocket, wallet, or purse and carry card in case of any emergency.

Let Someone Know You Are Okay, or Check on a Loved One

American Red Cross; Safe and Well ( An Internet-based tool where people within a disaster affected area can register themselves as "safe and well," and concerned family and friends can search for messages posted by those who have registered.  Share the site with your family, including phone number 1-866-GET-INFO to register if Internet access is not available.

Get Emergency Information on Your Smartphone

American Red Cross Mobile Apps These mobile apps, for Apple or Android, are for emergencies and everyday use.  The "Emergency," "all-inclusive," app lets you receive more than 35 different severe weather and emergency alerts to help keep you and your loved ones safe.

FEMA:  Download Mobile App From this page you can download FEMA's mobile app for Android, Apple, or Blackberry mobile devices.  Features timely weather alerts you can customize for your area, as well as preparedness and other information.

Find a Wealth of Resources from These Partners

American Red Cross:  Prepare for Emergencies Become "Red Cross Ready" for an emergency means following simple steps in advance to ensure you can weather a crisis safely and comfortably.

FEMA's A wealth of information for emergency planning and safety for families, businesses, and more.

FEMA's  Emergency Planning Checklists Includes family emergency plans, communications plans, pet emergency plans, and more.  Create plans with your family, and make sure everyone has a copy.

U.S. CDC:  Emergency Preparedness and You You can take steps now to help prepare for an emergency and cope if an emergency happens.  To help you prepare, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has provided step-by-step actions you can take beforehand to protect yourself and your loved ones.


Introduction of New Legislation for 2020

With the Second Regular Session of the 129th Legislature fast approaching, legislative leaders convened earlier this week to consider bill requests submitted by lawmakers.  According to the Maine Constitution, “business of the Second Regular Session of the Legislature shall be limited to budgetary matters; legislation in the Governor's call; legislation of an emergency nature admitted by the Legislature; legislation referred to committees for study and report by the Legislature in the First Regular Session; and legislation presented to the Legislature by written petition of the electors under the provisions of Article IV, Part Third, Section 18.”

The results of leadership’s action will be posted online soon.


Upcoming Referendum Election -- November 5, 2019

Referendum elections are held to provide Maine’s citizens an opportunity to vote on people’s veto referenda, direct initiatives of legislation (i.e. Citizen Initiatives), bond issues, other referenda proposed by the Legislature, and constitutional amendments.  Referendum elections are an important part of the heritage of public participation in Maine.

Questions Appearing on the November 5, 2019 Ballot

Question 1:  Bond Issue An Act To Authorize a General Fund Bond Issue To Improve Highways, Bridges and Multimodal Facilities Public Law Chapter 532

Do you favor a $105,000,000 bond issue to build or improve roads, bridges, railroads, airports, transit, and ports and make other transportation investments to be used to match an estimated $137,000,000 in federal and other funds?

Question 2:  Constitutional Amendment

RESOLUTION, Proposing an Amendment to the Constitution of Maine Concerning Alternative Signatures Made by Persons with Disabilities Constitutional Resolution Chapter 1

Do you favor amending the Constitution of Maine to allow persons with disabilities to sign petitions in an alternative manner as authorized by the Legislature?

Maine Citizen's Guide to the Referendum Election