British Columbia

Province apologizes after sending 900 letters to seniors in error threatening legal action

B.C.'s Ministry of Finance is apologizing after seniors participating in a tax deferment program were sent letters threatening legal action. 

Letters were sent last month regarding property tax deferment program

The Ministry of Finance has apologized after it sent out letters in error threatening legal action against seniors participating in a tax deferment program. (CBC)

B.C.'s Ministry of Finance is apologizing after seniors participating in a tax deferment program were sent letters threatening legal action. 

In September, roughly 900 letters were sent to seniors saying their property tax deferment had been suspended and the province was taking them to court.

"Your tax deferment agreement may be reactivated once the court proceedings have ended," wrote the ministry in a copy of the letter obtained by CBC News.

In British Columbia, land owners over the age of 55 can apply to defer their property tax and either pay the balance if they sell their land or have it recovered from their estate when they die.

An example of one of the letters sent out in September to participants of a tax deferment program. (CBC)

"Our concern is that if the property is sold to satisfy the debt, the net proceeds may not be sufficient to cover the taxes deferred," the letter stated.

No one was available for comment from the Ministry of Finance, but in a written statement officials said the letters were sent in error and apologized for the alarm they caused. The origin of the letter is being investigated and the department will send out a second set of letters confirming the correct status of seniors' property tax deferment accounts, it added.

Anyone with any questions can call 1-888-355-2700.

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