BC Seniors Advocate encourages seniors to access BC Property Tax Deferment Program

The deadline approaches for BC homeowners to pay property taxes.

Victoria – As the deadline approaches for BC homeowners to pay property taxes, BC Seniors Advocate Isobel Mackenzie is encouraging seniors to consider property tax deferment as a way to stay living independently. BC’s Property Tax Deferment program allows individuals, including senior homeowners, to defer paying taxes for a low simple interest charge (currently 0.7%) that accrues until they withdraw from the program voluntarily, upon ownership transfer, or upon death.

“What I’m hearing as I travel around the province is that there are many seniors living in their own homes who have a very challenging time getting the money together to pay their taxes, and in some cases this drives them from their homes entirely,” said Mackenzie. “This program assists seniors in continuing to live independently as long as possible, which research shows increases overall health and significantly decreases overall costs to the system.”

Approximately 80% of seniors in BC are homeowners (609,920) and 24% of senior homeowners have an annual income of $30,000 or less. To qualify for the Property Tax Deferment program you must be 55 or older and have a minimum of 25% of equity in your home. Application to the program can be made once tax notices are received.

“I know for some seniors, deferring may be an uncomfortable idea, and they may be worried about equity in their home, but when you actually do the math, in most cases it’s obvious the impact is not as significant as some people may think.”

Mackenzie points out that a substantial portion of a property’s equity remains, even after deferring property taxes for ten years. The following examples use 2016 municipal tax rates, and assume a mild (2%) annual appreciation.

• A $1,000,000 mortgage-free house in Vancouver would have 96.7% equity remaining after deferring property taxes for 10 years.

• A $470,000 mortgage-free house in Kelowna would have 93.7% equity remaining after deferring property taxes for 10 years.

• A $250,000 mortgage-free house in Comox would have 92.3% equity remaining after deferring property taxes for 10 years.

There were 5,278 new users of the Property Tax Deferment Program in 2015, a 10% increase from 2014, but a 2% drop since 2013, when there were 5,375 new users of the program. In 2015, $131.6 million was deferred under the program.

 

Just Posted

Emergency crews responded to the scene of a suspicious fire at the southeast corner of the OK Café in Vanderhoof Friday, June 11. The historic building is 101-years-old. (BC RCMP photo)
OK Café in Vanderhoof alright after suspicious fire

Damage kept to a minimum by firefighters

A person receives a COVID-19 vaccine at a vaccination clinic run by Vancouver Coastal Health, in Richmond, B.C., Saturday, April 10, 2021. Northern Health confirmed it has the lowest vaccination rates amongst the province’s five regional health authorities. (THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward)
Vaccination rates in Vanderhoof, Fraser Lake, Fort St James well below provincial average

COVID-19 immunization clinics for youth 12+ coming up in Fort St. James

Steve McAdam (left) is studying substrate conditions in the Nechako River and how they impact sturgeon eggs. The work will help design habitat restoration measures, said McAdam. (Rebecca Dyok photo)
Sturgeon egg studies to help inform future habitat restoration

“It’s an interesting, challenging issue,” says Steve McAdam

Saik’uz First Nation Coun. Jasmine Thomas and Chief Priscilla Mueller speak about the need for addiction treatment facility near Vanderhoof, March 2021. (Aman Parhar/Omineca Express)
Vanderhoof addiction treatment centre tries again with ministry support

Agriculture minister insists she is not interfering in land commission

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau participates in a plenary session at the G7 Summit in Carbis Bay, England on Friday June 11, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Canada donating 13M surplus COVID-19 vaccine doses to poor countries

Trudeau says the government will pay for 87 million shots to be distributed to poor countries

Montreal Canadiens goaltender Carey Price (31) is scored on by Vegas Golden Knights defenseman Alec Martinez, not pictured, during the second period in Game 1 of an NHL hockey Stanley Cup semifinal playoff series Monday, June 14, 2021, in Las Vegas. (AP Photo/John Locher)
Habs fall 4-1 to Vegas Golden Knights in Game 1 of NHL semifinal series

Match was Montreal’s first game outside of Canada in 2021

Kelowna-Lake Country MLA Norm Letnick, assistant deputy speaker at the B.C. legislature, presides over committee discussions. The legislature is completing its delayed spring session this week, with most MLAs participating by video conference. (Hansard TV)
B.C.’s daily COVID-19 infections dip below 100 over weekend

Only 68 new cases recorded Monday, four additional deaths

The BC Ferries website went down for a short while Monday morning following a provincial announcement that recreational travel between health authorities can resume Tuesday. (Black Press Media file photo)
BC Ferries’ website crashes in wake of provincial reopening announcement

Website back up now, recreational travel between health regions to resume as of Tuesday

The Kamloops Indian Residential School is photographed using a drone in Kamloops, B.C., Monday, June, 14, 2021. The remains of 215 children were discovered buried near the former school earlier this month. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
Communities grapple with what to do with former residential and day schools

Some tear them down as a tool to help healing, others repurpose them as tools for moving forward

FILE – Provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry talks about B.C.’s plan to restart the province during a press conference at Legislature in Victoria, Tuesday, May 25, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chad Hipolito
B.C. watching U.K.’s COVID struggles but don’t think province will see similar pitfalls

Studies show that one dose of vaccine is only 33 per cent effective in preventing B.1.617.2 spread

RCMP Const. Shelby Patton is shown in this undated handout photo. RCMP say that Patton was hit by an allegedly stolen truck that he had pulled over on Saturday morning in Wolseley, east of Regina. THE CANADIAN PRESS/HO, RCMP
Pair charged in Saskatchewan Mountie’s death make first court appearance

Const. Shelby Patton was hit by an allegedly stolen truck that he had pulled over Saturday morning

David and Collet Stephan leave for a break during an appeal hearing in Calgary on Thursday, March 9, 2017. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Todd Korol
Appeal Court rejects stay for Alberta couple facing third trial in son’s death

Pair accused in their earlier trials of not seeking medical attention for their son sooner

Highway notices like this come down effective June 14. Public health restrictions on non-essential travel and commercial operation have hit local businesses in every corner of B.C. (B.C. government)
Province-wide travel back on in B.C.’s COVID-19 restart plan

Gathering changes include up to 50 people for outdoor events

Most Read