On April 15, 2013, the Alberta government officially launched the Seniors Property Tax Deferral Program, which allows eligible Alberta senior homeowners to defer all, or part of, their annual residential property taxes through a low-interest home equity loan with the government.
This program is entirely voluntary and seniors with equity in their homes can decide for themselves whether to defer their property taxes until they sell. For those who participate, government will pay the property taxes directly to municipalities on behalf of the senior and the senior will repay the loan, with interest, when they sell their home – or sooner if they choose. This will free up money for seniors to use on other expenses.
The program was created because most seniors live on fixed incomes and cash flow is sometimes limited. This program will help seniors stay at home with loved ones for as long as possible. Average property taxes in Alberta are about $2,000. I expect this program will help free up over $50 million for over 23,500 senior households over the next three years. Government will secure the loans against the property through land titles, similar to the way mortgage loans are secured.
For your convenience, I have attached an information package, including an application, which can be copied and given to interested seniors. The package outlines the program’s eligibility requirements (for instance, the property must be the senior’s primary residence and the owner must have at least 25% equity in the property) and other information on how the program works. Further packages can be obtained by visiting my Constituency Office, downloading from the Alberta Health Website at www.health.alberta.ca or by calling the Alberta Supports Contact Centre at 1-877-644-9992.
Please feel free to call my office at (403) 216-5400 or email me at email@example.com should you have any questions.
Source: Alana DeLong, MLA