The provincial NDP plans on freeing up thousands of dollars for home owners who are 65 years of age and older.
On Friday, leader Cam Broten announced, if elected, the NDP would allow seniors to choose to defer all or some of their property taxes through a low-interest home equity loan. They would need to have at least 25 per cent equity in their home to apply. In that case, the government would pay their annual property tax bill directly to the municipality.
Broten said the Seniors Property Tax Deferral Program is about making life more affordable for seniors who own their homes but live on a fixed income.
“Seniors who face a challenge paying the bills every month are sitting on some equity in a home that they’ve built up over the years and need a bit more flexibility,” Broten said.
The loan gets repaid when the house is sold, or through the estate if a homeowner passes away.
The approximate annual cost would be $2.5 million based on similar deferral programs in Alberta and British Columbia.
“It’s important to note that these are loans that would be repaid. So there would be an initial upfront cost but of course those dollars come back to the province when the home is sold,” Broten said.
He estimated around 2,500 households would opt in to the program.