Deferring Property Taxes
The British Columbia Property Tax Deferment Program is a loan program that allows home owners to defer payment of annual municipal property taxes.
To qualify, you must:
- be the registered owner(s) of the home;
- be 55 years of age or older or a surviving spouse (any age) or a person with disabilities as defined in the Regulations to the Land Tax Deferment Act;
- be a Canadian citizen or permanent resident under the Immigration Act;
- have lived in British Columbia for at least 1 year immediately prior to applying;
- apply for the home in which you live;
- have a minimum equity of 25% in your home based on assessed values as determined by BC Assessment and;
- have a current fire insurance policy on your home.
After deducting the home owner grant, all or part of the unpaid balance of your home’s property taxes for the current year can be deferred. If you rent out part of your home, you are only permitted to defer property taxes for that part of the home in which you are living.
Property taxes can be deferred for as long as you own and live in your home. The deferred property taxes must be fully repaid, with interest, (a) before your home can be legally transferred to a new owner (other than to a surviving spouse) or, (b) upon the death of the agreement holder(s).
Simple interest (not compound interest) is charged on your deferment account. The rate is set every 6 months. With a loan, simple interest is attractive because you don’t end up paying interest on interest.
A reverse mortgage is an advance on the value of your home that accumulates interest. The accumulated debt does not need to be paid off until you die, sell your home or move out of the house. If you qualify and are over age 62, you can get up to 30% of the value of your home and you can use the funds for whatever you like.
Home Equity Loan
There are other ways to get money out of your home than a reverse mortgage. A home equity line of credit allows you to draw funds as you need them, usually at lower interest rates.