The BETE program is a 100% property tax exemption program for eligible property that would have been first subject to tax in Maine on or after 4/1/08. BETE does not replace the Business Equipment Tax Reimbursement program (see below). The BETR program remains in place for qualified property placed in service after April 1, 1995 and on or before April 1, 2007 and for retail property placed in service after April 1, 1995.
BETE: Retail Equipment Guidance (we are updating this document)
BETE/BETR TUTORIAL (we are updating this document)
The BETR program is designed to encourage capital investment in Maine. The program reimburses taxpayers for local property taxes paid on most qualified business property. To qualify, qualified business property must have been first placed in service in Maine after April 1, 1995.
Business Equipment Tax Reimbursement FAQs
1. 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%.
2. 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.
3. How long does it take to process a reimbursement?
After MRS receives a completed application, reimbursements may take up to 90 days to process.
4. 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 submit an application 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.
Maine Revenue Services
Property Tax Division
P.O. Box 9106
Augusta, ME 04332
Phone: 207-624-9404 (BETR)