The BC government is raising the threshold for owners to be able to claim the homeowner grant to $1.6 million from $1.2 million.
The change means many homeowners whose recent property assessment increased the value of their home above the old threshold will still be eligible for the $570 basic homeowner grant to offset municipal property taxes on their principal residence.
“The threshold increase to $1.6 million helps ensure virtually everyone who received the grant last year will also receive it in 2017,” said Finance Minister Michael de Jong.
The 33 per cent increase in the threshold was necessitated by 30-50 per cent jumps in assessed property values for detached single-family homes in some areas that put many homes above the previous $1.2 million threshold. In Metro Vancouver, the new threshold will keep 83 per cent of homes below the threshold and across the province 91 per cent of homes will remain eligible for the full grant.
When a home is valued above the threshold, the grant is reduced by $5 for every $1,000 of its assessed value in excess of the threshold. That means a home’s assessed value will now have to be more than $1,714,000 for its owner to completely lose their eligibility for any grant at all.
“We are doing our part to help keep housing costs affordable for families,” said de Jong.
When homeowners claim the grant to reduce their property taxes, the provincial government reimburses municipalities for the difference. The program will cost the province $821 million in 2017-18, up from $809 million last year.
- To be eligible for the grant, a homeowner must be a Canadian citizen or permanent resident, living in BC, and the home must be their principal residence.
- The basic grant is $570. For home owners in northern or rural areas, the grant is $770.
- Homeowners who are over 65, disabled or are the surviving spouse of a veteran can receive an additional grant to reduce their property taxes by up to $845, or $1045 for residents in northern or rural areas.
Low income homeowners, or those on a fixed income who are still struggling to pay their property taxes can also apply for a deferral of all or part of their obligation. That’s a kind of low-interest loan against the equity of your home; the province pays your property tax on your behalf and you repay the loan, plus interest, at any time.
Everything you need to know about the Homeowner Grant