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Municipality of Shelburne's changes to low income property policy helping more residents

SHELBURNE, N.S. – Changes made to the Municipality of Shelburne’s Low Income Property Tax Exemption policy last year is helping more residents with their property tax bills.

“Council voted to change the policy, which allowed them to help more residents because it’s based on a tier system,” says Michelle Williams, director of finance for the Municipality of Shelburne. Before, property owners with a total household income of $20,000 or less could receive up to $300 credit on their property taxes under the policy.

Now, the policy allows property owners with a total household income of $25,000 or less to receive up to $100 credit; property owners with a total household income of $22,500 or less can receive up to a $200 property tax break; and those with a total household income of $20,000 or less can receive a credit of up to $400.

“So far this year we’ve helped 74 residents for a total of $22,898 so we’re very pleased about that,” says Williams.

By comparison, last year before the policy change 50 residents were assisted to a tune of $14,815.

“Certainly, by council changing that policy it has opened it up to be able to assist more residents within the Municipality so very pleased with that,” said Williams.

The deadline to apply for the low-income property tax exemption is Feb. 28. Besides the low-income threshold, qualifying criteria for the tax break includes the applicant has to live in the property year-round, it has to be their primary residence and they can’t have any property tax arrears.

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