Property tax rebate to benefit seniors

HALIFAX: Low-income seniors will be able to afford to stay in their homes longer, thanks to the Property Tax Rebate for Seniors.

“The rebate program is one of the many ways we’re working to help seniors with their day-to-day expenses,” said Service Nova Scotia and Internal Services Minister, Patricia Arab. “It helps low-income seniors stay in their homes and communities longer.”

Eligible seniors receive a rebate on municipal property taxes paid during the previous tax year, to a maximum of $800.

Government introduced two changes to the program this year: seniors who moved out of their home in 2018 now qualify for the rebate, as long as they paid last year’s municipal taxes, and seniors who receive the rebate can choose to be automatically considered for the 2019-20 Heating Assistance Rebate Program in the fall. The heating assistance program issues eligible applicants rebates of up to $200.

“We were pleased to provide input to the Property Tax Rebate program,” says Bernard Conrad, vice-chair, Seniors Advisory Council. “It is so important to expand the eligibility and increase awareness of programs so our seniors can take advantage of supports, allowing them to continue to be a part of our communities.”

Approximately 15,500 seniors benefit from the Property Tax Rebate Program each year. Seniors qualify for the program if they are receiving the Guaranteed Income Supplement or the Allowance from Service Canada in 2019, and their 2018 residential property tax bills are in their name and paid in full.

The program is open now and it closes December 31.

Applications are available at: https://beta.novascotia.ca/apply-property-tax-rebate-property-tax-rebate-seniors. They can also be picked up at Access Nova Scotia, Department of Community Services and MLA offices as well as through senior groups. They are also available by calling 902-424-5200 or, toll-free 1-800-670-4357. For more information, visit: https://beta.novascotia.ca/apply-property-tax-rebate-property-tax-rebate-seniors.

SHIFT: Nova Scotia’s Action Plan for an Aging Population prescribed 50 specific actions, involving support and recognition of the social and economic contributions of older Nova Scotians – supporting economic independence, promoting continued health and active living and supporting aging at home with connection to community. For more information on SHIFT, visit: https://novascotia.ca/shift/.