(Quebec) The Liberal Party of Quebec (PLQ) wants to allow seniors to defer the payment of their property taxes, as requested by several municipalities, including the City of Montreal. The measure could contribute to keeping the elderly at home, it is argued.
The Liberals are calling on the Legault government to allow municipalities to set up a property tax deferral program upon request for low-income seniors aged 65 and over.
“The objective is really to allow people to live in their homes or to prevent them from selling them before their time”, illustrates the Liberal spokesperson for seniors, Linda Caron.
The MNA for La Pinière also argues that this measure is necessary in the current context of the rising cost of living and inflation. This is a “tangible measure” to enable seniors to “make ends meet”.
The PLQ believes that Quebec could negotiate with the municipalities the terms of the program when renewing the fiscal pact, the current partnership covering the period 2020-2024. This is also a request from the Union of Quebec Municipalities (UMQ) since 2019.
“In eight other Canadian provinces, it’s been offered for 10 to 15 years and […] each province has different frameworks. We, our objective is in the context of housing shortages, inflation and the cost of living, to give flexibility to seniors so that they stay in their homes as long as possible. [L]The fine detail could be discussed with the municipalities,” explains Ms.me Because we.
The case of Montreal
The City of Montreal has also adopted a motion tabled by the official opposition last January for the Plante administration to be mandated to “make representations to the government of Quebec” for the implementation of a program that would allow low-income seniors “to defer paying the property tax increase until the sale of their property”.
The motion indicates that, according to Statistics Canada data for 2021, “approximately 23% of households in the City of Montreal had a person aged 65 and over as their main financial support, i.e. the majority of retired people on a fixed income”.
However, the property value of properties in the metropolis jumped by an average of 31.4%, according to the 2023-2025 property assessment roll. “The increase in property taxes may prove to be substantially greater than the increase in the cost of living or homeowner’s income, especially in neighborhoods that have experienced high real estate activity,” the motion reads. which can cause pressure on owners.
The duty recently reported that cities of different sizes, such as Saint-Lin–Laurentides and Terrebonne, have also pleaded for such a measure.
Similar measures exist in British Columbia, Alberta, New Brunswick, Yukon, California, as well as Halifax and Ottawa.