Seniors Property Tax Deferral Program
Whereas many low income seniors aged 65 and over in Saskatchewan do not possess the disposable income to offset the rising costs of homeownership; and
Whereas many of those seniors own their residences and would prefer to remain in their homes; and
Whereas it is beneficial for these seniors to remain in their homes as a means to free up the low inventory of affordable housing for other residents;
Be it resolved that the SUMA urge the Government of Saskatchewan to explore the feasibility of a Seniors' Property Tax Deferral Program similar to that administered by other provinces.
A previous review completed by the province suggested local governments are in the best position to establish a property tax deferral program to serve the interests of their residents. The three municipal Acts include broad authority for municipalities to "defer the collection of a tax" for a particular property or class of taxable property, with or without conditions. If cities think the authority needs to be refined or enhanced, this could be considered. The Ministry is aware the City of Saskatoon will be introducing a program to defer property tax increases for seniors in 2012. Government's approach to education property tax has been to focus on reducing the tax by increasing its portion of education funding.