To start or expand your business you should become familiar with the Town of Kittery's requirements and processes. Below is some helpful information to review.
General Information for New Businesses and Business Owners
If you would like to start a business in Kittery, or are a new business owner, you may need to contact the Town Clerk or Code Enforcement. To register a DBA or sole proprietorship, please contact the Town Clerk. For building permits, business use change permits (required for new AND relocated businesses) and home occupations permits, please contact Code Enforcement.
Important Business Personal Property Tax Information
Maine law states that all personal property associated with a business is subject to property taxation (see 36 M.R.S. §601). “Business Personal Property” is tangible property including, but not limited to, manufacturing equipment, office furniture, phone and computer systems, store fixtures, store signs and leasehold improvements. Business personal property is typically not attached to the real estate, and could be easily removed from the real estate if the business relocates. For a list of items typically declared by businesses and home occupations, please click here.
Personal Property Assessment and Declarations
Each year, the Assessor sends business owners (taxpayers) “personal property declarations” and requests a business inventory list for April 1 of the current year. Per 36 M.R.S. § 706-A, failure to respond to the Assessor’s request bars the taxpayer of the right to appeal the property tax assessment. The Assessor reviews declarations and makes necessary corrections each year. The Assessor may contact the taxpayer if more information is needed to estimate fair market value of the property.
Declarations are annually mailed in March and due in April. If the taxpayer cannot meet the deadline stated on the declaration, an extension may be requested. Taxpayers may request to view business personal property lists on file with the town at any time.
Property Tax Relief
The State of Maine offers two tax relief programs for business personal property:
BETE (Business Equipment Tax Exemption, "Betty") - The BETE program requires an application to be filed with the Assessor no later than May 1 each year. Only certain types of businesses and business equipment first subject to taxation in Maine on or after April 1, 2008 can qualify for BETE. Examples of businesses that could qualify include: manufacturing facilities, leasing companies and medical service providers. Retail stores and equipment located at retail stores do not qualify for BETE, but may qualify for BETR.
BETR (Business Equipment Tax Reimbursement, "Better") - The BETR program requires an application to the State, and requires the taxpayer to provide proof that property taxes were paid for the calendar year of the application. The BETR application should be signed by the Assessor and submitted to the State by December 31 each year. Only equipment purchased after April 1, 1995 would be eligible for BETR.
Please refer to Maine Revenue Services for applications and more information on these programs.
Current Kittery Assessment Projects
There are currently no Personal Property projects at this time.
Please contact the Assessing Department if you have any questions about inspections.
Links and Other Information
- State Laws BETR
- Maine Revenue Services
- BETE application
- 2022 Kittery Personal Property Depreciation Schedule
- Personal Property Guide (could be helpful when filing declaration)