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New Program to Help with Rent and Property Taxes

January 23rd, 2014

property-taxesThe Property Tax Fairness Credit went into effect on January 1, 2014 and replaces the “Circuitbreaker” Property Tax and Rent Refund, and should be filed through the State of Maine taxes, even if you don’t normally file for taxes.

When completing your taxes this year, you should be aware that you may be eligible for a credit of up to $300 if you are 69 or younger and up to $400 if you are over the age of 70.

  • Due to stricter eligibility limits, many fewer people will get help with their property taxes or rent.
  • The credit is “refundable.” This means that you can get the help, even if you owe nothing in taxes (or owe less than the amount of the credit).

There are four eligibility requirements for the program:

  1. Were Maine residents during any part of the tax year;
  2. Owned or rented a home in Maine during any part of the tax year and lived in that home during the year;
  3. Had Maine adjusted gross income of not more than $40,000; and;
  4. Paid property tax on a home in Maine during the tax year that was more than 10% of Maine adjusted gross income or paid rent to live in a home or apartment in Maine during the tax year that was more than 40% of Maine adjusted gross income.

How does someone apply for the refundable credit?

To claim the credit, an applicant must file the 2013 Form 1040ME and the Property Tax Fairness Credit Worksheet.

Form 1040ME

Forms can be downloaded from the Maine Revenue Services web site at or by calling 207-624-7894 to request that a form be mailed.

Free Tax Help at the Curtis Library

Free Tax preparation assistance through AARP volunteers will be available at the Curtis Library beginning February 3 and we are currently taking appointments.

Call the Reference Desk at 725-5242 ext. 510.

Help for Job Searchers

January 15th, 2014


Job Search Neighborhood

If a person is unemployed they have two options:

1. Keep searching for work.

2. Hire themselves by starting their own business (which we will cover how to do in upcoming Curtis Money posts).

Curtis supports job seekers with a plethora of resources.

Curtis’ Job Search Neighborhood

On the second floor of the library, we have:

  • Professionally maintained, high-speed Internet connected PCs for online job searching.
  • A collection of up-to-date books on all aspects of job searching including how to create a resume, job interviews, cover letters, et al.
  • Software for creating resumes and cover letters (Curtis staff members will be standing by to assist)
  • A black & white network printer for printing resumes and cover letters ($.10 per page)
  • One-on-one assistance from professional librarians with the technical and non-technical aspects of 21st century job searching

Every new day is another chance to change your life.

Library Services for Businesses and Self-Employed

January 14th, 2014


Reference Books and Public PCs with Microsoft Office

  • Business books in collection on a variety of topics from starting a business, promoting a business, management issues and more
  • Online business databases with articles from business journals, trade publications, magazines
  • Financial Literacy collection – budgeting, investments, saving, etc.
  • Free WiFi
  • Public computers with Microsoft Office (save your work to a flash drive or your Dropbox – be sure to ask for help if you need it)
  • Photocopier- black & white only, 10 cents per page
  • Tutoring Rooms for meetings with 2 to 5 people (can reserve up to a week in advance)
  • Research Assistance from Professional Librarians

>>>> Business and Community Partnership Program

Maine Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP)

January 13th, 2014

heating assistanceThe Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program (commonly called LIHEAP or HEAP) provides money to low income homeowners and renters to help pay heating costs.

Eleven Community Action Programs distribute the funds throughout Maine, in most cases directly to the fuel vendors.

Household Size* Maximum Income Level (Per Year)
1 $16,755
2 $22,695
3 $28,635
4 $34,575
5 $40,515
6 $46,455
7 $52,395
8 $58,335

*For households with more than eight people, add $5,940 per additional person.

The Opportunity Alliance

Contact your local Community Action Program (CAP) agency to apply:
The Opportunity Alliance
Phone: 207-553-5800
Toll Free: 800-698-4959
TTY: 207-874-1013

NOTE: If you need assistance accessing and applying for any and all of the benefits that Maine residents are entitled to – please ask a Curtis Librarian.

FINRA Financial Literacy Quiz

June 18th, 2013

Take the Take the Financial Literacy Quiz and see how you compare to the state or national results.