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The Cottage Property Tax Increase Deferral Act (Property Tax and Insulation Assistance Act Amended)

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S.M. 2010, c. 4

Bill 5, 4th Session, 39th Legislature

The Cottage Property Tax Increase Deferral Act (Property Tax and Insulation Assistance Act Amended)

(Assented to June 17, 2010)

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

C.C.S.M. c. P143 amended

1           The Property Tax and Insulation Assistance Act is amended by this Act.

2           The following is added at the end of Part I:

PART I.1

DEFERRAL OF PROPERTY TAX INCREASES FOR COTTAGE OWNERS

Overview

8.1         This Part establishes a tax deferral program under which eligible cottage owners may defer property tax increases on eligible cottage properties for 2010 and 2011 and, if the program is extended by regulation, for any other year or years specified in the regulations.

Definitions

8.2         The following definitions apply in this Part.

"base year" means the year used as the base year for determining the maximum deferrable amount for a subsequent taxation year. For the 2010 and 2011 taxation years, the base year is 2009. (« année de référence »)

"cottage property taxes" means the municipal and school taxes levied by a municipality in respect of an eligible cottage property based on its portioned value as defined in The Municipal Assessment Act. (« taxes foncières »)

"eligible cottage property" means real property within Manitoba that

(a) includes a residential dwelling that formed part of the real property throughout the base year;

(b) was used in the base year primarily for personal recreational purposes by an eligible owner of the property or one or more members of the owner's family, and continues to be so used;

(c) is not used for the purpose of earning or producing income;

(d) is not the principal residence of its owner for the purposes of The Income Tax Act, and is not the primary residence of any person; and

(e) is not located within the boundaries of a city;

and includes any other property belonging to a type of property prescribed by regulation as eligible cottage property. (« chalet admissible »)

"eligible owner", in relation to an eligible cottage property at any particular time, means an individual

(a) who is an owner of the property at the particular time;

(b) who is resident in Manitoba for the purposes of The Income Tax Act for the year for which a portion of the individual's cottage property taxes is to be or has been deferred; and

(c) whose cottage property taxes in respect of the property were not in arrears at the time of applying for the tax deferral. (« propriétaire admissible »)

"maximum deferrable amount" in relation to an eligible cottage property means

(a) for each of the 2010 and 2011 taxation years, the amount by which

(i) the 2010 cottage property taxes for that property,

exceed

(ii) the 2009 cottage property taxes for that property; and

(b) for any other taxation year to which the tax deferral program is extended by regulation, the amount determined in accordance with the regulations. (« montant maximal pouvant être reporté »)

"minister" means the Minister of Finance. (« ministre »)

"owner", in relation to an eligible cottage property at any time in a taxation year, means an owner or occupier of the property in whose name the tax statement for the property is issued for that year. (« propriétaire »)

Application for deferral of property tax increase

8.3(1)      An eligible owner of an eligible cottage property may apply to the minister for a deferral of a portion of the cottage property taxes on that property for

(a) the 2010 and 2011 taxation years, or either of those years; or

(b) if the tax deferral program is extended by regulation, a taxation year or years specified in the regulations.

Application process

8.3(2)      The owner must apply for the deferral by

(a) completing the application form approved by the minister for that purpose; and

(b) filing the completed application form, together with any supplementary documentation stipulated by the form, with the minister before the day that the cottage property taxes in respect of the property are due for the taxation year to which the deferral relates.

Joint application by multiple owners

8.3(3)      If the property has more than one owner, any eligible owner of the property may apply for the deferral, but only if the application is accompanied by

(a) the written authorization of the other owners; and

(b) a declaration, signed by each of the other owners, containing the information required by a form of declaration approved by the minister for this purpose.

Applicant to specify amount to be deferred

8.3(4)      For each taxation year for which an amount is to be deferred, the applicant must specify in the application form the amount, not exceeding the maximum deferrable amount for the year, that the owner or owners wish to defer.

Minister to approve or reject application

8.3(5)      Within 30 days after receiving the completed application form, and any supplementary documentation stipulated by the form, the minister

(a) must review the application and either

(i) approve the application, if he or she satisfied that the property is an eligible cottage property, that the applicant is the eligible owner of it, and that each amount to be deferred does not exceed the applicable maximum deferrable amount, or

(ii) reject the application; and

(b) must notify the applicant in writing of the decision.

Effect of approval

8.4(1)      If an application for a tax deferral for a taxation year is approved

(a) the owner or owners are not liable to the municipality for the deferred amount or for any interest or penalty that would otherwise apply to the non-payment or late payment of that amount, and are deemed, in relation to the collection of taxes owing to the municipality, to have paid that amount to the municipality when it was due;

(b) the minister must pay the deferred amount to the municipality on behalf of the owner or owners, and must pay any interest and any penalties that would be payable by the owner or owners in respect of the deferred amount if

(i) the application were not approved, and

(ii) the deferred amount were paid by them on the date of payment by the minister;

(c) if the application was filed with the minister less than 30 days before the cottage property taxes were due, any interest and penalties payable by the minister in respect of the first 30 days after the date the application was filed is to be added to the deferred amount;

(d) the deferred amount, plus interest and any costs reasonably incurred by the government to recover the amount, is a debt owing by the owner or owners to the government;

(e) if there is more than one owner, the debt is owed by them jointly and severally; and

(f) interest on the debt is to be calculated using a calculation method and the applicable rate or rates prescribed, or determined in accordance with, the regulations.

Money payable from Consolidated Fund

8.4(2)      The money payable under clause (1)(b) is payable from the Consolidated Fund with money authorized by an Act of the Legislature to be so paid and applied.

Due date for payment of debt

8.5(1)      Subject to the regulations, the debt of an owner under this Part is payable by the owner, or by the owner's estate if the owner has died, no later than

(a) at the end of the year at the end of which none of the owners is resident in Manitoba for the purposes of The Income Tax Act;

(b) the date that any interest in the property to which the debt relates is transferred, unless it is transferred to the owner's spouse or common-law partner;

(c) if the property has only one owner who is resident in Manitoba, 120 days after the date of that owner's death unless, as a result of the death, the deceased owner's interest in the property is transferred to his or her surviving spouse or common-law partner who is resident in Manitoba;

(d) 30 days after the property ceases to be an eligible cottage property;

(e) 30 days after a failure to comply with a reporting requirement in section 8.6, unless the minister waives the application of this clause to that failure; or

(f) any other date determined in accordance with the regulations;

whichever occurs first.

Liability of spouse or common-law partner

8.5(2)      If an owner's interest in the property is transferred to his or her spouse or common-law partner, the spouse or common-law partner is jointly and severally liable, with the transferor and with any other owners, for the transferor's debt under this Part.

Early payment

8.5(3)      An owner may pay all or any part of the debt before it is due under subsection (1).  Such a payment is to be applied first to interest.

Reporting requirement

8.6(1)      Until a debt under this Part is paid in full, the indebted owner or owners must ensure that a declaration is filed with the minister annually in accordance with the regulations and in a form approved by the minister.  The declaration must contain the information necessary to ascertain that the debt is not yet due.

Notice of changes

8.6(2)      Until a debt under this Part is repaid in full, the indebted owner or owners must ensure that, within 30 days after the occurrence of an event described in clause 8.5(1)(a), (b) or (d) or a change in the address of any owner's primary residence, the minister is notified in writing of the event or change.

Notice of death

8.6(3)      Within 120 days after the death of an owner whose debt under this Part has not been repaid, the executor or other person responsible for the deceased owner's estate must notify the minister in writing of the death.

Debt recovery

8.7(1)      A debt under this Part is recoverable by one or more of the following methods:

(a) by a civil action for debt in a court of competent jurisdiction;

(b) by issuing and filing a debt certificate under subsection (2) and enforcing it as a judgment;

(c) by enforcing a lien established and registered under subsection (3);

(d) by any other method that may be used to recover a tax debt under The Tax Administration and Miscellaneous Taxes Act.

Debt certificate

8.7(2)      The minister may

(a) issue a debt certificate showing

(i) the amount of the debt and the name of the person liable for it,

(ii) the name of this Act, and

(iii) the minister's address for service of documents; and

(b) file the certificate in the Court of Queen's Bench.

Once filed, the certificate becomes a judgment of the court and may be enforced as a judgment.

Lien

8.7(3)      The government has, in addition to every other remedy it has for the recovery of the debt, a lien on the property in relation to which the debt arose.  The lien secures the payment of

(a) the debt; and

(b) any costs reasonably incurred by the government in collecting the debt or in holding, repairing, preparing for disposition or disposing of the property.

Registration of lien

8.7(4)      The minister may cause the lien to be registered in a land titles office, and may cause the registration to be postponed, amended or discharged, in accordance with the regulations.

Effect of registration

8.7(5)      Upon registration of the lien in the appropriate land titles office, it becomes enforceable as a certificate of judgment under The Judgments Act.

Regulations

8.8(1)      The Lieutenant Governor in Council may make regulations

(a) for the purpose of the definition "eligible cottage property", prescribing types of properties as eligible cottage property;

(b) for the purposes of this Part, defining words or expressions that are not defined in section 8.2;

(c) respecting applications for tax deferrals under this Part;

(d) respecting the reporting requirements for persons who are indebted to the government under this Part;

(e) respecting the due dates for the repayment of debts under this Part;

(f) extending the tax deferral program under this Part to a taxation year or years after 2011, and prescribing the method of determining the maximum deferrable amount for any year to which it has been extended;

(g) respecting interest payable on deferred amounts, including regulations prescribing

(i) a rate, or method of determining a rate, of interest payable on a debt under this Part,

(ii) a rate, or method of determining a rate, of interest payable on a debt under this Part that remains unpaid after its due date, and

(iii) how interest is to be calculated and compounded;

(h) respecting security for the payment of a debt under this Part, and the recovery of costs incurred in enforcing payment;

(i) establishing a process to deal with objections or complaints;

(j) providing authority to investigate, inspect or audit any matter pertaining to a deferral sought or obtained under this Part;

(k) respecting any other matter the Lieutenant Governor in Council considers necessary or advisable for the purposes of this Part.

Retroactive effect

8.8(2)      A regulation under this section

(a) may be made retroactive to the extent the Lieutenant Governor in Council considers it necessary to implement or give effect to the deferral program for the 2010 taxation year; and

(b) may validate anything done at any time before the regulation was made if it would have been valid had this Part and the regulation been in effect at that time.

Minister may approve forms

8.8(3)      The minister may approve forms for use in the administration of this Part, and may require them to be used.

Coming into force

3           This Act comes into force on January 1, 2010, and if it receives royal assent after that day, it is deemed to have come into force on that day.