I just thought I’d share a great money-saving program for those who have lived in Maine all of 2007 and feel at least a little burdened with their rent or property taxes. (Though if you live someplace else, you may want to ask around to see if something like this exists where your live.)

The Circuit Breaker program is for people who pay 20% or more of their income in rent or 4% of their income in property taxes. (Being from the government, there are also about two pages of exceptions of additional people who qualify so it’s worth looking at the guidelines whether you meet the initial ones or not).

The application is about 2 pages long and last year, it took me approximately an hour to fill out (including the information gathering, which was mostly findning my previous year’s tax information and bank account number). I mailed it off, not thinking to calculate my refund (though I don’t think that was as easy to access in the booklet last year as it is this year). Essentially last year I made about $28,000 and was paying $600 in rent a month including heat (which is actually an inexpensive year-round rent on Vinalhaven). I was also going to take any money I could get for free.

A month later, I was opening a random white envelope from the state of Maine and found a $500 check in there. I had to really think awhile to figure out where that had come from, as the application was just a small event in my life. Point being for about an hour of work, you can make several hundred dollars at the very least.

Here is the booklet with the application. There is a deadline so do it soon so you don’t forget in the new year. Break a circuit!

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