The Property Tax Deferment Program in British Columbia (BC) can be helpful to individuals facing financial challenges or those with limited income. It provides a temporary reprieve from property tax payments, allowing homeowners to manage their finances more effectively during difficult times. This program can be especially beneficial to seniors on fixed incomes, families with children, persons with disabilities, and individuals experiencing temporary financial hardships.
Here are the key features of the Property Tax Deferment Program:
1. Eligibility: To qualify for the Property Tax Deferment Program, you must meet specific criteria, including being a Canadian citizen or permanent resident, being a resident of BC, and owning and occupying the home as your principal residence. There are different deferment programs based on age and disability status.
2. Deferred Payment: The program enables eligible homeowners to defer payment of their current property taxes, which means the taxes are paid on their behalf by the provincial government. The deferred taxes accumulate as a debt against the property and must be repaid, with interest, when the property is sold or ownership is transferred.
3. Age-Based Programs: The Property Tax Deferment Program offers different options for different age groups:
- Regular Program: Homeowners aged 55 or older may be eligible for the regular program, which allows them to defer payment of their property taxes. The homeowner must have and maintain at least a 25% equity stake in the property, as a condition.
- Families with Children Program: Homeowners with children under the age of 18 may be eligible for the Families with Children Program, which allows them to defer payment of their property taxes regardless of age. The homeowner must have and maintain at least a 15% equity stake in the property, as a condition.
4. Disability-Based Programs: The Property Tax Deferment Program provides options for homeowners with disabilities:
- Persons with Disabilities Program: Homeowners who receive disability assistance under specific provincial or federal programs may be eligible to defer payment of their property taxes. The homeowner must have and maintain at least a 25% equity stake in the property, as a condition.
5. Interest Rates: Interest is charged on the deferred property taxes, with rates set annually by the government. The interest rates for deferred property taxes are typically lower than traditional lending rates.
It's important to note that the specifics of the Property Tax Deferment Program may change over time, and there may be additional eligibility criteria or requirements. For the most up-to-date and accurate information regarding the Property Tax Deferment Program in BC, it is recommended to consult the BC Ministry of Finance or your local municipality.