Deadline to apply to COVID-19 Property Tax Financing Program extended

The deadline to apply for the Town of Amherst’s COVID-19 Property Tax Financing Program has been extended until July 31, 2020.

The decision to extend the deadline was made by Amherst town council during a special session held on Friday, June 10, 2020.

The extension gives residents and business owners until the end of July to apply to the program, which is aimed at helping Town of Amherst taxpayers who have been significantly impacted by the COVID-19 state of emergency. The original deadline was June 30, 2020.

“We are extending the deadline because the Town of Amherst wants to ensure that every resident and business that have been significantly impacted by the pandemic has the opportunity to take advantage of the program,” Mayor David Kogon said. “We encourage taxpayers who have been impacted to apply as soon as possible.”

The program is based on a template developed by the Association of Municipal Administrators of Nova Scotia and the Nova Scotia Federation of Municipalities. It will give taxpayers 30 months to pay their 2020-2021 property taxes in installments.

Qualified participants will be charged interest at a rate of 1.35 per cent per year.

To qualify individuals and businesses must provide proof of financial hardship as a result of the state of emergency and their current tax accounts must be in good standing.

In addition, residential taxpayers must be the owner of a residential property that is their primary residence or the owner of a residential property where the owner is registered as a tourism operator with Tourism Nova Scotia for the 2019 tourist season.

Commercial properties used as commercial, shopping, office, industrial or farm purposes and have a total taxable 2020 property assessment value equal to or under $2 million also qualify, as does commercial and resource property owned by a tourism operator registered with the Tourist Accommodations Registration Act.

Property owners who have not been affected by the state of emergency do not qualify.

The town is accessing the Province of Nova Scotia’s Municipal Operating Loan Program to finance its participation in the Property Tax Financing Program.

To get full information on the program and to apply, please go to the town’s website at: https://amherst.ca/Property-Tax-Financing-Program/.