The Municipality of the District of Lunenburg (MODL) has introduced measures to further ease the financial burden of the pandemic on homeowners in the area.
Following its council meeting May 25, the municipality announced it had reduced the overdue property tax payment interest rate from 10 per cent to 0.0 per cent from June 1, 2021 until August 31, 2021. After August 31, 2021, the interest rate returns to the standard rate of 10 per cent.
Last year at this time, the municipality extended a similar grace period for property tax payments.
"We understand that a significant number of our residents are facing reduced hours, loss of employment and loss of business during this time, and Council is taking measures to alleviate the financial stress put on residents and business owners," MODL's mayor, Carolyn Bolivar-Getson, said in a media release. "Reducing the overdue interest rate helps both resident and businesses who are having difficulty paying their tax bill and those who are currently in arrears," she added.
That same day the municipality announced it was making it easier for low- income homeowners to apply for the Property Tax Exemption.
Previously, applicants were required to submit an application that included a signed statutory declaration witnessed by a barrister or a commissioner of the Supreme Court of Nova Scotia, the mayor or district councillor (sworn as a commissioner), or a Province of Nova Scotia notary public.
Effective following the announcement, applicants are only required to sign the application themselves, certifying that that have completed the application form in a truthful manner.
"The Property Tax Exemption is one of the many ways the Municipality supports our residents who are facing financial hardship," Bolivar-Getson said in another news release.
"By removing the Statutory Declaration requirement, Council is removing an application barrier for a program that alleviates the tax burden for homeowners," she added.
Homeowners with household incomes under $29,999 are eligible to receive up to $500 relief from their property tax bill.
The application deadline is August 1 each year, however applications are accepted year-round while funding permits. Applicants who have already submitted their application for this year do not need to apply again.
To apply for the Property Tax Exemption, visit https://www.modl.ca/property-taxexemptions.html.