Seniors sceptical over provincial property tax program

It seems that seniors in Alberta would rather struggle to pay property taxes than to take what they perceive as a risk from provincial help.

The Alberta Seniors Property Tax Deferral Program enables seniors who own their homes to get a loan from the government to cover property taxes for as long as they own the property. Interest is charged at prime rate and as long as they live in the home they will pay nothing back.

It sounds like a good deal, but figures reveal that less than 2,000 Albertans have taken up the offer.

The Calgary Herald reports that seniors are not keen to take a loan against their asset and many who do use the program do not keep it up.

The article compares the program to a similar one in B.C., which has been in operation for four decades. However, that scheme is open to more people with those over 55 eligible to apply (it’s 65 in Alberta) and interest charged a sub-prime one per cent. 

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