Housing prices in Cambridge have increased drastically over the last few years which means that property tax on these properties is rising as well. One of the ideas I would like to work with the current council on is providing a property tax rebate for the disabled and the elderly (as per section 319 of the Municipalities Act). .
Seniors in our city need to be cared for and helped in any way we can. Currently Cambridge has implemented an Old Age Security tax deferral program. This program currently allows low-income seniors to apply for a property tax deferral on increases to their property tax. I strongly believe that Cambridge can do better for its senior citizens. I would like to have this deferral program changed to be a tax rebate program that will provide low-income seniors (anyone collecting OAS) with a 25% tax rebate. This puts the money directly in the pockets of those who need it instead of making them pay it back at a later date.
If these people (generally on fixed incomes) are struggling to pay the increase today, how are they expected to pay it back later? We should simply provide them with a rebate, lowering their burden, and not just push the problem further down the road.