Assessing personal property
Personal (Business) Property is subject to taxation in Maine. For full information the law can be found in 36 MRSA Sec. 601-612 and Sec. 706. For a direct link to the specific law, please click here to view Maine Revenue Personal Property Law Title 36, Chapter 105, Subchapter 3 Personal Property Taxes (starting on page 41).
To assist businesses with this requirement, the Assessor’s Office will mail a declaration form every March to all qualifiying taxpayers. Businesses are requested to provide the Assessor with a true and perfect inventory list of all personal property which was in the possession of the business as of April 1st of that year. For your convenience, the personal property declaration letter and form are available to download in pdf form from our webpage. The deadline to file a personal property list will be the last day of April of each year. Personal property record declarations can be made available upon request if they have been submitted within the last 5 years.
Letter to Tax Payers (Updated February 2021)
Personal Property Declaration Form (Updated February 2021)
What is personal property? Personal property includes but is not limited to the following categories:
- Machinery & Equipment: Presses, tools, machining equipment, garage equipment, heavy-duty shelving and other machinery or manufacturing equipment, telephone equipment, vending machines, televisions, amusement apparatuses, typewriters, calculators, fax machines, copiers and other office items of this type, cargo trailers and any self propelled machinery that is not subject to excise tax.
- Computer Equipment: CPUs, monitors, servers, network wiring, printers and other computer equipment.
- Furniture & Fixtures: Business office furnishings such as desks, chairs, bookcases, file cabinets, tables, and sofas. This category also includes fixtures specific to a business that may be attached to the real estate, but is generally removed when the business relocates.
- Signs: Any business advertisement sign.
- Vehicles that have not paid excise tax: this is applicable to business and personal vehicles and camper trailers
The State of Maine provides two separate programs to business taxpayer's reference to personal property. Basic information about these programs can be found at the Maine Revenue Services website by clicking here, or by calling Maine Revenue Services at 207-287-2013.
Those programs are:
- BETE (Exemption) Program: Business Equipment Tax Exemption Program. This program reimburses businesses for taxes paid on certain items of business personal property. BETE applications can be obtained by clicking here and are due no later than April 15th, 2021. If you need an extension of time to complete the BETE application, please contact our office at (207) 563-5270 or email Assessing@bristolmaine.org. For more information about BETE, click here.
- BETR (Reimbursement) Program: Business Equipment Tax Reimbursement Program. This program provides tax exemption for certain items of business personal property (the Business Equipment Tax Exemption program). The 2021 application (for 2020 taxes) for the BETR will be available in August 2020 by clicking here, and must be returned to the state by Dec 15, 2021. Additional information on the BETR program is available from the Maine Revenue Services website.