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Maine Office of the State Treasurer

TREASURER BECK Reduces Interest Rate on Delinquent Property Taxes to Lowest on Record

Augusta, ME: Augusta, ME – Today, Treasurer Henry Beck announced that the interest rate charged on delinquent property taxes will be reduced to the lowest level on record in consideration of economic challenges associated with COVID19. For taxable year 2022, the maximum interest rate that a municipality may charge for delinquent property taxes is 4%.  Treasurer Beck is declining an additional 3% penalty to the range, as is routine and allowed by Maine law. Municipalities may vote to determine the rate of interest that shall apply to taxes that become delinquent during a taxable year until those taxes are paid in full.

Treasurer Henry Beck commented, “We set this historically low percentage out of consideration of rising expenses and costs for Maine people and businesses. This year we judged it unwise to impose an interest penalty far beyond average rates. Fortunately, the Governor and Legislature increased aid to towns and cities to take pressure off property taxpayers and recently launched a program to help elderly and disabled Mainers with their property tax bills."

Statutory background: The maximum rate of interest that can be charged is governed by Title 36 M.R.S. Section 505(4):

“The maximum rate of interest must be established by the Treasurer of State and may not exceed the prime rate as published in the Wall Street Journal on the first business day of the calendar year, rounded up to the next whole percent plus 3 percentage points. The Treasurer of State shall post that rate of interest on the Treasurer of State's publicly accessible website on or before January 20th of each year. The interest must be added to and become part of the taxes.” 

About OST: The Office of the State Treasurer provides state agencies with efficient banking and financial services, which include revenue collection, payment issuance, reconciliation, and trust management. The Office also manages state investments and debt payments and issuance, ensuring that bonds authorized by voters are efficiently sold in the marketplace to provide funding for capital projects statewide.  Over $200 million in unclaimed funds for Maine residents are managed by the Office of the Treasurer. FMI,