03/18/2016 12:35 EDT | Updated 03/19/2017 01:12 EDT

Saskatchewan NDP promises to help seniors with property taxes

SASKATOON — NDP Leader Cam Broten says seniors will be allowed to defer paying property taxes if his party forms government after the Saskatchewan election.

Broten says many seniors own their homes, but live on fixed incomes that make it difficult to pay all their bills.

He says allowing homeowners 65 and older to put off some or all of their property taxes would free up thousands of dollars a year for them.

Campaigning in Saskatoon for the April 4 election, Broten said a low-interest loan would be available to seniors with at least 25 per cent equity in their homes.

His government would pay the taxes directly to municipalities on behalf of seniors, and the loan wouldn't have to be repaid until a home were sold.

Broten anticipates the cost would be about $2.5 million annually.

“Seniors have often spent many years creating memories and building equity in their homes, so I want to make it easier for them to stay living there for as long as they want,” Broten said in a statement released Friday as he appeared at Saskatoon's arts and convention centre. 

The tax-deferral program would begin next year, he said.

The Canadian Press