BC government lowers threshold for Home Owner Grant's property tax reductions

Jan 4 2020, 2:34 am

The provincial government has lowered the threshold for the Homer Owner Grant to reflect moderating housing prices across BC.

The threshold in 2020 has been adjusted to homeowners with an assessed property worth $1.525 million — down from $1.65 million in 2019. This ensures 92% of homeowners will continue to be eligible for the full, basic grant amount.

Over the last few years, the threshold has been adjusted repeatedly to account for the rapidly rising housing prices.

Through the grant, those who are eligible see a reduction in the amount of property tax they pay to their municipal government or to the provincial government for those who live in rural areas.

This grant is reduced by $5.00 for every $1,000 of assessed value above the threshold, which means eligible homeowners with properties assessed above the threshold receive a partial grant until it is fully phased out.

Some low-income homeowners, including seniors and people with disabilities, can also apply for a supplement that replaces any grant amount they lose due to the value of their home being over the threshold.

As of 2020, the homeowner grant amounts are up to $570 for the basic homeowner grant, and up to $845 for homeowners who are 65 years or older, or if the homeowner is a person with a disability or lives with a relative who has a disability.

Location-based supplements include grants of up to $1,045 for homes in northern or rural areas where the homeowner is 65 years or older, or if the homeowner is a person with a disability, as well as up to $770 if the home is situated in a northern or rural area as defined as outside Metro Vancouver, the Fraser Valley, and Victoria Capital Region.

The provincial government reimburses municipal governments for the full cost of the grant to ensure the revenues of local governments are not impacted by the subsidy program.

As well, homeowners may be eligible for a property tax deferment if they are 55 years or older or are financially supporting a dependent child.

Kenneth ChanKenneth Chan

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