B.C. Financial Hardship Property Tax Deferment Program

A new property tax deferment program for B.C. residents is available for the 2009 and 2010 tax years.  The program is called the B.C. Financial Hardship Property Tax Deferment Program and is different from the B.C. Property Tax Deferment Program offered in previous years and still offered.  B.C. residents are encouraged to determine which program provides greater benefit given their individual circumstances. 

The program operates by deferring 2009 and 2010 property taxes on a participant’s primary residence for so long as the participant owns and lives in the home.  The deferred property taxes must be paid, with interest at a rate of bank prime (1) before the participants home can be legally transferred to a new owner (other than directly to the participant’s surviving spouse), or (2) upon the death of the participant.  The interest rate is set every six months. 

In order to be eligible for the program, participants must:
•    be a Canadian Citizen or permanent resident;
•    live in B.C. for at least one year immediately prior to applying for the program;
•    currently be experiencing financial hardship due to economic conditions;
•    have and maintain a minimum equity of 15% of the current B.C. Assessment value on the property (after deducting the upper limit of all outstanding mortgages, lines of credit and other charges on the participant’s home); and
•    have a current fire insurance policy on the home for an amount not less than the current B.C. Assessment value.

Participation in the program results in a lien registered against the participant’s property in the land title office. 

Applications must be completed and submitted before the property tax due date. 

Applications are available beginning in May 2009 from your municipal office or Service BC Centre or from the Service B.C. website at www.sbr.gov.bc.ca/individuals/Property_Taxes/Property_Tax_Deferment/forms.htm. 

More information is available at www.servicebc.gov.bc.ca.

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