Council has approved an enhanced property tax increase deferral program for low-income older adult homeowners beginning in 2024.
Currently, all municipalities are required to maintain a program to provide financial relief from year-over-year tax increases for low-income seniors and low-income persons with disabilities. This mandatory program applies to the marginal amount of a property’s tax increase from one year to the next. Relief can be provided in the form of either an interest-free deferral or cancellation of all – or a portion of – an eligible increase.
To qualify for the currently mandated program, property taxes must increase by at least $200, the deferral must be the amount above the $200 threshold, and couples must have a qualifying income of $28,005.
Eligible homeowners would be those 65 years and older, whose household income falls below the City median. Applicants will also be required to meet several technical requirements related to residency, occupancy, and the status of their tax account.
Once enrolled, participants will be automatically eligible to defer subsequent year’s taxes. Deferred taxes will be subject to interest; however, this will be subsidized by the City resulting in the effective rate being substantially lower than that which generally applies to outstanding taxes.
Over the next few months, City staff will finalize the program criteria and develop an application process and applicable by-laws. The program is set to be reviewed annually by Council for consideration as part of the operating budget process.
St. Catharines residents can expect an insert with further information included with their 2024 property tax bill.
Find information and apply for the current program at stcatharines.ca/Deferrals.