Town of Amherst Property Tax Financing Program

Deadline: Oct. 31, 2020

The Town of Amherst recognizes that many citizens and businesses have been significantly impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. The Town is, therefore, offering a one-time property tax financing program for qualified owners of residential and commercial properties negatively affected by the COVID-19 global pandemic.

You may qualify if your account is current up to March 31, 2020, and you are the owner of:

  • a residential property that is the owner’s primary residence and you have experienced a significant reduction in income due to the State of Emergency, or the owner of a residential property that is a registered Tourism Operator with Tourism Nova Scotia for the 2019 tourist season, excluding AirBNBs:

Note: For residential applications, mandatory information to support your application must be provided.  Attach copies of related documents, screenshots, or legible pictures such as: proof of receipt of Canadian Emergency Response Benefit (CERB), a Record of Employment showing layoff after March 1, 2020 and any additional related information or documentation.

  • a taxable commercial property, where the property tax has a total taxable 2020 property assessment equal to or less than $2 million and where the owner’s business or building located on the property has experienced financial hardship through loss of sales related to the state of emergency;
  • a taxable commercial or resource property that is used for tourist accommodations (e.g., hotels, motels, bed and breakfasts) and is registered under the Tourist Accommodations Registration Act.

Note: For commercial applications, mandatory information to support your application must be provided.  Attach copies of related documents, screenshots or legible pictures including but not limited to:

  • For a business that was in operation before March 1, 2019 - that the sum of total sales for March, April and May of 2020 is less than 70% of the sum of total sales for March, April and May of 2019. The owner will be required to provide and certify a schedule of sales by month to support the application.
  • For a business that was established on or after March 1, 2019 – an analysis of all monthly sales from the inception of the business to May 31, 2020 clearly establishing loss of expected sales of 30% or more due to the State of Emergency for the period from March 1, 2020 to May 31, 2020. The analysis may be required to be supported by further documentation such as, but not limited to, cash flow projections prepared the purpose of obtaining financing at the time of establishing the business

Further details on eligibility criteria are detailed in the COVID-19 Property Tax Financing Program Policy

How does the program work?

If your application is approved, your property tax payments will be spread out over 30 months. Your first six (6) payments will be $25 per month.

The remainder of your tax bill will be divided by 24 to get the monthly amount you will be expected to pay. A small amount of interest (1.35 per cent) will be applied to your monthly payments.

Example: John owns his own home but lost his job due to COVID-19. He applies for the Property Tax Financing Program and his application is approved. John’s tax bill is $2,000. He pays $25 for the first six months. After six months his balance of 2,000-$150=$1,850 is divided into 24 equal payments of $78.73 plus interest. John must pay this amount every month for 24 months. At the end of the program, John has only paid $39.43 in interest.

Tax Bill $2,000  
Interst Rate 0.013500 0.001125
PeriodPrincipalInterestPrincipal+interestPayment
1 $2,000.00 $2.25 $2,002.25 $25.00
2 $1,977.25 $2.22 $1,979.47 $25.00
3 $1,954.47 $2.20 $1,956.67 $25.00
4 $1,931.67 $2.17 $1,933.85 $25.00
5 $1,908.85 $2.15 $1,910.99 $25.00
6 $1,885.99 $2.12 $1,888.12 $25.00
7 $1,863.12 $2.10 $1,865.21 $78.73
8 $1,786.48 $2.01 $1,788.49 $78.73
9 $1,709.76 $1.92 $1,711.68 $78.73
10 $1,632.95 $1.84 $1,634.79 $78.73
11 $1,556.06 $1.75 $1,557.81 $78.73
12 $1,479.08 $1.66 $1,480.75 $78.73
13 $1,402.02 $1.58 $1,403.59 $78.73
14 $1,324.86 $1.49 $1,326.35 $78.73
15 $1,247.62 $1.40 $1,249.03 $78.73
16 $1,170.30 $1.32 $1,171.61 $78.73
17 $1,092.88 $1.23 $1,094.11 $78.73
18 $1,015.38 $1.14 $1,016.53 $78.73
19 $937.80 $1.06 $938.85 $78.73
20 $860.12 $0.97 $861.09 $78.73
21 $782.36 $0.88 $783.24 $78.73
22 $704.51 $0.79 $705.30 $78.73
23 $626.57 $0.70 $627.28 $78.73
24 $548.55 $0.62 $549.16 $78.73
25 $470.43 $0.53 $470.96 $78.73
26 $392.23 $0.44 $392.67 $78.73
27 $313.94 $0.35 $314.30 $78.73
28 $235.57 $0.27 $235.83 $78.73
29 $157.10 $0.18 $157.28 $78.73
30 $78.55 $0.09 $78.64 $78.64
  Total Interest $39.43   $2,039.43

Note: Default of payment under this program results in immediate termination of the financing agreement. Taxes will be due in full as of the default date, with interest accruing at a rate of 12 per cent on any unpaid balance.

How do I apply?

Residents who believe they are eligible can apply through an online form at https://nspropertytaxprogram.ca/ and select the Town of Amherst from the drop-down list.

Note: there are a few items to be aware of when using the portal:

  • This is a generic portal for many municipalities in N.S. and not tailored to the Town of Amherst. Please consult the Amherst policy for specifics.
  • For residential:
    • The property must be your principal residence
    • Rental properties do not qualify
  • For commercial:
    • You have not received compensation from business interruption insurance as a result of the state of emergency.
    • Rental properties do not qualify

For those who prefer a paper application, please contact Amherst Town Hall at 902-667-3352 and one will be mailed to you.

The information is being collected by the Association of Municipal Administrators (AMANS) and the Federation of Nova Scotia Municipalities (NSFM) on behalf of the town. This information will be sent to the town office for review and approval. Please note:

• The form must be fully completed for your application to be considered

• The deadline to submit your application is Oct. 31, 2020

• The application must be completed by the owner(s) of the property

• You will be asked for your Property Assessment Number which is on your Property Assessment Notice from Property Valuation Services Corporation (PVSC). If you don’t have access to your Assessment Notice there is a link on the form that will take you to the PVSC website where you can obtain that information.

A confirmation that your application has been received will be sent to you by email. Your municipality will notify you if you have been approved.

Need assistance? The Town of Amherst can help. Call 902-667-3352.