VICTORIA - More than one million home owners in British Columbia may be eligible to receive the entire Home Owner Grant again this year as the Province is increasing the threshold for the Home Owners Grant by $10,000 to $1.295 million to keep pace with rising property value assessments, Finance Minister Michael de Jong announced today.
BC Assessment estimates the value of all homes based on their market value on July 1 each year. Government then adjusts the threshold of the Home Owner Grant to make sure at least 95.5 per cent of eligible homeowners receive the full amount. Those with homes valued above the threshold may still be eligible for a partial grant.
The Home Owner Grant provides a maximum reduction in residential property taxes on principal residences of $570 in the Capital, Greater Vancouver and Fraser Valley regional districts. The Northern and Rural Area Homeowner Benefit, one of the measures that keeps the carbon tax revenue neutral, increases the Home Owner Grant by $200 for home owners living outside of those areas to provide additional property tax relief for northern and rural British Columbians.
An additional grant of $275 is available to those who are aged 65 or over, permanently disabled or a veteran of certain wars. In Budget 2012, the B.C. government expanded the program to include low-income Canadian Forces veterans in the event they do not already qualify as seniors or persons with disabilities.
In 2007, the Home Owner Grant program also was expanded to include eligible low-income home owners who, but for the high assessed value of their homes, would have been eligible for the full grant.
The Home Owner Grant is one of the ways the Province helps keep property tax rates affordable for B.C. families. The Province also provides property tax deferral options for qualified individuals, including home owners over 55, persons with disabilities, and families with children.
The deferment programs are low-interest loan programs that allow qualifying residents to defer all or part of their property taxes until they sell or transfer ownership of their home, or it becomes part of an estate. Application forms are available when property tax notices are issued in spring.
Minister of Finance Michael de Jong -
"The Home Owner Grant helps keep property taxes affordable for families, even as property value assessments rise. By ensuring the Home Owner Grant threshold keeps pace with assessments, we're helping families with the costs of owning their homes and ensuring at least 95.5 per cent of B.C. home owners are eligible for the full grant."
"Assisting home owners with their property taxes and providing tax deferral options to eligible home owners over 55, persons with disabilities and families with children are some of the assistance programs we provide to keep property taxes at affordable levels throughout the province."
- The Home Owner Grant program began in 1957.
- The Province provides the equivalent amount of the full Home Owner Grant to seniors whose homes are valued above the threshold but how have low incomes. The program is called the Low Income Grant Supplement and seniors must apply for it.
- In 2009 and 2010, the grant threshold was set at $1.05 million.
- The grant is not provided automatically. Home owners must apply every year.
- The grant is available to Canadian citizens and to landed immigrants who normally reside in B.C.
More information about the Home Owner Grant: http://www.sbr.gov.bc.ca/individuals/Property_Taxes/Home_Owner_Grant/hog.htm
More information about property tax deferment programs: http://www.sbr.gov.bc.ca/individuals/Property_Taxes/Property_Tax_Deferment/ptd.htm
Director of Communications
Ministry of Finance