A A A

Second Session, Thirty-Eighth Legislature

This version is based on the printed bill that was distributed in the Legislature after First Reading.
It is not the official version.   If accuracy is critical, you can obtain a copy of the printed bill from Statutory Publications.

Bill 213

THE SENIORS' PROPERTY TAX DEFERMENT ACT


Table of Contents Explanatory Note

(Assented to                                             )

HER MAJESTY, by and with the advice and consent of the Legislative Assembly of Manitoba, enacts as follows:

Definitions

1           The following definitions apply in this Act.

"assessable property" and "municipality" have the same meaning as in The Municipal Assessment Act. (« biens imposables » et « municipalité »)

"deferral agreement" means an agreement under section 2, between the minister and the owner or owners of eligible property, providing for a deferral in the payment of all or any part of the taxes in respect of the property. (« accord de report »)

"eligible property" means assessable property of a registered owner that is his or her principal residence as defined in the regulations. (« propriété admissible »)

"minister" means the minister appointed by the Lieutenant Governor in Council to administer this Act. (« ministre »)

"owner" means a registered owner as defined in The Municipal Assessment Act. (« propriétaire »)

"tax administrator" means a person responsible for the administration of taxes levied by a municipality. (« administrateur des taxes »)

"taxes" means the school and property taxes levied by a municipality or the Crown in respect of eligible property, but does not include penalties or interest on those taxes. (« taxes »)

Minister may enter into agreement

2(1)        The minister may enter into a deferral agreement with an owner if

(a) the owner and the property to be covered by the agreement meet the requirements of this section and the regulations; and

(b) the owner files an application in accordance with subsection (2).

Subject to the regulations, the agreement may contain any terms or conditions the minister considers appropriate.

Applying for deferral agreement

2(2)        An owner who wishes to enter into a deferral agreement respecting his or her property must

(a) file an application, in accordance with the regulations, with the tax administrator of the municipality in which the property is located; and

(b) pay the prescribed application fee.

Duties of tax administrator

2(3)        The tax administrator who receives the application must

(a) obtain any additional information or documents respecting the owner and the property that the regulations require; and

(b) within 30 days after receiving the application, give the minister

(i) the application,

(ii) the additional information and documents referred to in clause (a),

(iii) a statement of the taxes due and owing in respect of the property, and

(iv) a report as to whether the owner and the property satisfy the requirements of this Act and the regulations for the minister to approve a deferment of taxes.

When minister may approve

2(4)        The minister may approve the application and enter into the deferral agreement only if

(a) the owner has been ordinarily resident in Manitoba for the two years immediately before the date of the application;

(b) the owner is a Canadian citizen or has been lawfully admitted to Canada under the Immigration Act (Canada) for permanent residence;

(c) the owner

(i) will be at least 60 years old at the end of the year in which the application is made,

(ii) is a widow or widower, or

(iii) has a disability as defined in the regulations;

(d) the property's assessed value for tax purposes for the year in which the application is made is not more than $300,000.;

(e) the taxes on the property have been paid in full for every year up to and including the year before the year in which the application is made;

(f) the owner's interest in the property is not subject to any mortgage, lien or other encumbrance that secures a claim for, or an obligation to pay, money or money's worth; and

(g) if there is more than one owner of the property, the application is made by all of them jointly, and at least one of them meets the requirements of clauses (a) to (c).

Corporate ownership

2(5)        For the purposes of this section, each individual who owns shares of a corporation is deemed to be an owner of the property of the corporation and the corporation is deemed not to be the owner of the property.

Minister's decision is final

2(6)        The minister's decision to reject an application under this section is final and cannot be appealed.

Tax penalties and interest

3(1)        If the minister and the owner enter into a deferral agreement, no penalty or interest in respect of the taxes deferred under the agreement is payable under any other Act, regulation or by-law, from the day the application was filed until the day the agreement is terminated.  But if the application is filed after taxes for the year in which the application is made are due, the owner must pay any penalties that are charged and interest that accrues before the day it is filed.

Effect of rejecting application

3(2)        For greater certainty, if the minister rejects an application under this Act, the taxes in respect of which the application was made are subject to penalties and interest as if the application had not been made.

Taxes deferred in first year

4(1)        The taxes to be deferred in the year in which the application is made are to be as set out in the deferral agreement.

Application to defer taxes in later years

4(2)        For each subsequent year for which the owner wishes to defer taxes under the agreement, he or she must, at least 30 days before the taxes for the year are due, apply for the additional deferral by

(a) notifying the minister in writing that he or she wishes to defer taxes for the year;

(b) specifying in the notice the amount requested to be deferred;

(c) providing a copy of the tax notice to the minister, and

(d) paying the annual tax deferment fee prescribed by regulation.

Annual statement of account

4(3)        If taxes have been deferred under a deferral agreement, the minister must give to the owner, before the end of April of each year, a statement of the amount owing to the government as at March 31 in respect of the deferred taxes and accrued interest.

Minister to pay municipality

4(4)        When taxes are deferred under a deferral agreement, the Minister of Finance must pay the deferred amount to the tax administrator, who must apply it to the payment of the deferred tax. Amounts required for this purpose may be paid out of the Consolidated Fund, but only out of money authorized by an Act of the Legislature for the purpose.

Insufficient expenditure authority

4(5)        When taxes sought to be deferred exceed the amount authorized by the Legislature to be paid out of the Consolidated Fund for tax deferment under this Act, the minister may

(a) reject applications made under section 2 or this section, and refund the related application fees; or

(b) allow the deferral of an amount less than the amount requested to be deferred.

The minister must notify the owner in writing of the action taken and of the owner's continuing liability for the taxes that could not be deferred.

Act and agreement prevail

5           This Act and a deferral agreement prevail in the event of a conflict between

(a) either of them; and

(b) any other Act, regulation or by-law relating to taxation of the property covered by the agreement.

Registration in land titles office

6(1)        The minister may issue a certificate respecting a deferral agreement showing

(a) the address for service upon the minister;

(b) the name and address of the owner; and

(c) a description of the property covered by the agreement;

and may register or file it in the appropriate land titles office.

Lien

6(2)        From the time of registration or filing, the certificate forms a lien against the property described in the certificate.  The lien secures the payment of the debt and accrued interest owing to the government under this Act in respect of the property, including the portion of the debt and interest that became owing after the time of registration or filing.  The lien is payable in priority over any claim, charge or encumbrance subsequently registered or filed in respect of the property.

Restriction against transfer

6(3)        Unless permitted by the regulations or the minister, a registrar must not register a transfer or other conveyance of any interest in property while it is subject to a lien under this section.

Agreement cannot be assigned

7           An owner's interest in a deferral agreement is not assignable. Any purported assignment of it is void.

Termination of agreement

8(1)        Subject to subsection (3), a deferral agreement is terminated on the earliest of

(a) subject to subsection (2), the day on which the property covered by the agreement is disposed of;

(b) the day on which any taxes on the property that are not deferred have been in arrears for a period of six months, or for any longer time determined by the minister;

(c) a termination date requested in writing by the owner to the minister;

(d) a date set by the minister in a notice of termination given under subsection (4).

Transfer to surviving spouse or common-law partner

8(2)        A deferral agreement is not terminated merely because title to the eligible property is transferred on the death of the owner to his or her surviving spouse or common-law partner if, immediately after the death, the transferee meets the requirements of clauses 2(4)(a) to (c).

Minister may delay termination date

8(3)        The minister may delay the termination date of an agreement in accordance with the regulations.

Minister may suspend or terminate agreement

8(4)        If the minister considers that the taxes deferred under an agreement and the accrued interest are inadequately secured, the minister may, despite the agreement, by written notice to the owner,

(a) suspend further deferral of taxes under the agreement; or

(b) terminate the agreement.

Debt to government

9(1)        Taxes deferred under a deferral agreement are a debt due to the government by the owner of the property in respect of which the taxes were imposed, and are recoverable as such in a court of competent jurisdiction. If there are two or more owners, they are jointly and severally liable for the debt and the accrued interest.

Interest on debt

9(2)        The debt bears interest as prescribed under The Financial Administration Act, but the effective rate of interest for any year shall not be more than one percentage point above the government's average borrowing rate in effect for the immediately preceding year.

Debt payable on termination

9(3)        On termination of the agreement, the debt is immediately due and payable by the owner to the minister, without further notice or demand, together with accrued interest.

Earlier repayment optional

9(4)        The owner may prepay the debt or any part of it at any time, without notice and without penalty.  Any payment before termination of the agreement is to be applied first toward accrued interest.

Satisfaction of agreement

10(1)       When an agreement is terminated and the deferred taxes and accrued interest have been paid in full, the minister must

(a) notify the owner in writing that the taxes and interest have been paid in full; and

(b) file a copy of the notice in the land titles office in which a certificate was registered or filed under section 6 in respect of the agreement.

Discharge of encumbrance

10(2)       Upon receiving a copy of the notice, the registrar of the land titles office must cancel the registration of the certificate.

Offence

11          A person who, in providing information to the minister or a tax administrator for the purpose of deferring taxes, knowingly

(a) provides false or misleading information; or

(b) omits to state a material fact the omission of which makes the information provided false or misleading;

is guilty of an offence and is liable, on summary conviction, to a fine of not more than $10,000.

Regulations

12          The Lieutenant Governor in Council may make regulations

(a) defining "principal residence" for the purpose of the definition "eligible property" in section 1;

(b) respecting applications and agreements under this Act for deferment of taxes;

(c) prescribing the additional information or documents to be obtained by a tax administrator under clause 2(3)(a);

(d) defining "disability" for the purpose of clause 2(4)(c);

(e) prescribing an application fee and an annual tax deferment fee;

(f) respecting any other matter the Lieutenant Governor in Council considers necessary or advisable in the administration of this Act.

C.C.S.M. reference

13          This Act may be referred to as chapter S90 of the Continuing Consolidation of the Statutes of Manitoba.

Coming into force

14          This Act comes into force on January 1, 2005, or on any earlier day fixed by proclamation.

Explanatory Note

This Bill enables the government to enter into agreements with seniors who wish to defer school and property taxes on their homes.

Under such an  agreement,  the government will pay the deferred taxes on the senior's behalf.  The deferred amount will be a debt owing by the senior to the government, and will be secured by a lien against the senior's home.  The debt will bear interest at a rate, to be set by regulation, that is not more than 1% above the government's borrowing rate.

This Bill also allows widowed persons and persons with disabilities to defer taxes.