City of Sarnia Act, 1997
The purpose of the Bill is set out in the Preamble.
An Act respecting the City of Sarnia
The Corporation of the City of Sarnia has applied for special legislation to establish a tax deferral program for people receiving benefits under the Family Benefits Act or assistance under the General Welfare Assistance Act and for senior citizens.
It is appropriate to grant the application.
Therefore, Her Majesty, by and with the advice and consent of the Legislative Assembly of the Province of Ontario, enacts as follows:
1. In this Act,
"Corporation" means The Corporation of the City of Sarnia;
"municipal taxes" means taxes imposed for municipal and school purposes in respect of real property assessed as residential or farm property and includes local improvement or other special rates;
"owner" means a person assessed as the owner of residential real property and includes an owner within the meaning of the Condominium Act;
"spouse" means a person of the opposite sex to whom the person is married or with whom the person is living outside marriage in a conjugal relationship of at least one year's duration.
2. Despite any other Act, the council of the Corporation may pass by-laws authorizing and directing the treasurer of the Corporation to allow owners of residential real property in the City of Sarnia a deferral of up to 50 per cent of the owner's annual municipal taxes in respect of the residential real property as provided in the by-law to a maximum of $2,000 per year or to such lesser maximum amount as the by-law may provide,
(a) if the owner or the spouse of the owner, or both,
(i) is or are receiving benefits under the Family Benefits Act or assistance under the General Welfare Assistance Act, or
(ii) has or have attained the age of 65 years and is or are receiving a monthly guaranteed income supplement under Part II of the Old Age Security Act (Canada), or
(iii) has or have attained the age of 65 years and has had his, her or their municipal taxes on the property described in clause (b) increased in 1992 from 1991 by 50 per cent or more through market value assessment;
(b) if the owner or the spouse of the owner, or both, occupies or occupy the property in respect of which municipal taxes are imposed as his, her or their personal residence; and
(c) if the owner or the spouse of the owner, or both, has or have been assessed as the owner of residential real property in the municipality for a period of not less than one year, or for a period of not less than such other number of years up to five as the by-law may provide, immediately preceding the date of application for the deferral.
3. The following conditions apply to a deferral of municipal taxes authorized under section 2:
1. No deferral shall be allowed to an owner in respect of more than one single-family dwelling unit in any year.
2. No deferral shall be allowed to any person who has not applied for it in the year in which the municipal taxes in respect of which the deferral is claimed become due and payable.
3. A deferral shall be allowed only if the remaining portion of the municipal taxes is paid.
4. A by-law passed under section 2 may,
(a) provide for the continuation of the deferral to the surviving spouse of a deceased person to whom a deferral was allowed, if the spouse otherwise qualifies for the deferral, except for the qualifications set out in clause 2 (c);
(b) provide an interest to be charged on the deferred portion of taxes at a rate of interest equal to the rate paid by the Corporation for short-term bank borrowings; and
(c) prescribe such regulations with respect to the administration of the by-law, not inconsistent with this Act, as the council of the Corporation considers proper.
5. (1) The amount of any deferral allowed shall, on registration in the appropriate land registry office of a notice of lien, be a lien in favour of the Corporation on the real property in respect of which the deferral has been allowed.
Not special lien
(2) Section 382 of the Municipal Act does not apply in respect of the deferred taxes and no special lien is created under that section.
6. The amount of the deferred taxes becomes due and shall be paid to the Corporation upon any change in ownership of the real property unless,
(a) the new owner is the spouse, brother or sister of the person to whom a deferral was allowed and the new owner qualifies for a deferral under a by-law passed under this Act; or
(b) the change of ownership occurred by way of a mortgage or charge other than a sale or foreclosure under the mortgage or charge.
Registration of lien
7. (1) For the purposes of subsection 5 (1), after a deferral has been allowed under the by-law for the first time in respect of any real property or for the first time after a lien in respect of any real property has been discharged under this section, a notice signed by the treasurer of the Corporation stating that a deferral has been allowed together with a description of the real property sufficient for registration shall be registered in the proper land registry office.
Discharge of lien
(2) Upon payment in full to the treasurer of the Corporation of the amount of all outstanding deferrals allowed in respect of the property, a certificate of the treasurer of the Corporation showing the payment shall be registered in the appropriate land registry office and upon registration the lien in respect of the real property is discharged.
8. This Act comes into force on the day it receives Royal Assent.
9. The short title of this Act is the City of Sarnia Act, 1997.