Seniors living on a fixed income often experience the financial strain of mounting expenses. With rising property taxes playing their part, seniors can quickly struggle to keep up with bills and other costs. If your home’s value has decreased since last summer when BC Property Assessments were determined, you may be thinking about appealing its assessed worth. While this is understandable as it could lead to lower payments in theory, bear in mind that there are risks involved.
If an appraiser comes to your home to reassess the value, you might end up with a higher assessment than before, increasing your property tax along with it. The appeal process will not allow you to use current or recent sale prices in your area, since the valuations are based on sales activity from the previous July.
Here’s what I recommend: Apply for property tax deferment.
If you are 55 or older in the current year, a surviving spouse of any age, or a person with disabilities, you may be able to defer your property taxes. Tax deferment is a low-interest loan program that helps qualified B.C. homeowners pay their annual property taxes on their principal residence.
The property tax does not need to be paid until the house eventually sells. It will come out of the final sale proceeds. The interest rate for the year 2023 to do so is currently very low at 1.7%.
If you qualify for the program, you can apply to defer your unpaid property taxes between early May and December 31 of the current taxation year. However, we recommend applying after you receive your property tax notice and before your property taxes are due. If you didn't receive your tax notice by the end of June, contact your property tax office.
Find out more about deferring property taxes and if you qualify by visiting the website HERE.
Note: Applying for property tax deferment does not include the homeowner grant. If eligible, don’t forget to also apply for the homeowner grant when you receive your annual property tax notice.