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City considers participation in older adults property tax deferral program

property taxThe Older Adult Property Tax Deferral program (OAPTD) program offers low income older adults who own and live in their homes in the City of Burlington a full property tax deferral with interest being paid by the Region of Halton. At its April 19 meeting, the Development & Infrastructure Committee will consider the recommendation from staff to participate in the program, governed by the Region. Information about the program will also be available at the next Inspire Burlington series June 17.

There are currently two property tax programs to assist lower income seniors in Burlington:

  1. Low Income Seniors Property Tax Rebate: A $525 rebate is offered to eligible seniors that meet the following criteria: 65 years of age or older, receive the guaranteed income supplement (GIS) and have owned and lived in their home in Burlington for at least one year. In 2015, there were 518 applications processed for the tax rebate program.
  2. Low-Income Senior & Disabled Property Tax Deferral Program: A legislated program offered for low-income seniors and persons with disabilities to defer the year over year property tax increase. There have been no applications for the legislated deferral program. The provincial government also offers programs to assist low-income seniors including the Ontario Senior Homeowners Property Tax Grant, through income tax filing, and a property tax exemption for those individuals that make modifications to their home to acommodate seniors or persons with disabilities.

Criteria for the Older Adult Property Tax Deferral program include the following:

  • All registered owner(s) of a property must apply and qualify
  • Registered owner(s) of the property for at least 4 years
  • Registered owner(s) must be 65 or older
  • Combined income of all owners must be less than $44,800 for 2016. This will change each year as set out in the Region’s State of Housing Report (Notice of Assessment from Revenue Canada is required to verify income)
  • No outstanding property taxes for prior years
Key highlights of the program include:
  • A lien will be registered against the title of the property
  • Property tax deferral is interest free to the eligible homeowner. Interest is paid by the Region to the participating municipality
  • The program requires an annual renewal application, which is initiated in January of each year with a deadline of September 30
  • When the owner of the property becomes ineligible, there is a one year grace period whereby taxes are deferred without interest
  • Full amount of deferred taxes is owing either at the end of the grace period or on the sale of the property, whichever is earlier
  • Property owners are not able to participate in either of the existing senior programs offered

Cost:

The first fee is a $50 application review fee. Upon approval of the initial application an administration fee of $200 is added to the deferral amount to cover the legal cost of registering a lien on title. The local municipality is responsible to remit taxes to the Region and Boards of Education on a quarterly basis even when taxes are unpaid. This can have cash flow implications should there be a large uptake in the program.

Timeframe:

The launch date of the program is July 1, 2016. Information will be posted on the City’s website at www.burlington.ca.

Mayor's Inspire Poster

Inspire Burlington: Helping seniors and their families plan for tomorrow

Date: Friday, June 17, 2016
Time:
9:30 – 11 a.m.
Location: Rooms 1 & 2, Tansley Woods Community Centre, 1996 Itabashi Way

Date: Friday, June 17, 2016
Time:
1:30 – 3:30 p.m.
Location: Auditorium, Burlington Seniors’ Centre, 2285 New Street

Karen Henderson, Founder & CEO of the Long Term Care Planning Network, will speak about the importance of long term care planning. Information will also be provided about the Older Adults Tax Deferral Program.

Admission is free. Reserve your seat by calling 905-335-7607 or emailing mayor@burlington.ca.

Written by Marianne Meed Ward

A Better Burlington began in 2006 after my neighbours said they felt left out of city decisions, learning about them only after they’d been made.

As journalist for 22 years, I thought “I can do something about that” and a website and newsletter were born. They’ve taken various forms and names over the years, but the intent remains: To let you know what’s happening at City Hall before decisions are made, so you can influence outcomes for A Better Burlington.

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