A City policy that grants seniors a property tax rebate has been amended to expand the program’s eligibility and standardize the payments.
At its May 24 meeting, City Council voted in favour of the proposed amendments to the Seniors’ Homeowner Rebate Policy. The rebate is open to seniors who own their homes and are eligible for the Alberta Government Seniors Monthly Cash Benefit Program.
Prior to the policy amendment, eligible Cold Lake seniors who applied for the program would receive a tax rebate if their tax bill went up by more than $5 year over year, with each rebate being calculated individually. Since 2015, only 21 residents have made use of the program, receiving an average rebate of $94.
Under the new amendments, all seniors eligible for the Alberta Government Seniors Monthly Cash Benefit Program and who own their home as their principal residence are eligible to apply and receive a $100 rebate, regardless of whether their tax bill increased.
“These changes should allow many more of our seniors to take advantage of the program,” said Mayor Craig Copeland. “These are residents who helped build our community and our province and are living on a fixed income that is sensitive to a rise in costs. Any help we can provide, we should, and we are endeavoring to provide that help with a program that is streamlined and easy to access.”
The rebate is limited to one per household. Seniors who wish to receive the rebate will need to submit an annual application. The application form is posted on the City website at www.coldlake.com/taxes.