Home owner grant threshold rises with property values

Staff writer
January 8, 2013 01:00 AM

More than one million home owners in British Columbia may be eligible to receive the entire home owner grant again this year as the provincial government is increasing the threshold for the grant by $10,000 to $1.295 million to keep pace with rising property value assessments.

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 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 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 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 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 helps keep property taxes affordable for families, even as property value assessments rise," said Finance Minister Michael de Jong in a news release. "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."

More information about the Home Owner Grant can be found at http://www.sbr.gov.bc.ca/individuals/Property_Taxes/Home_Owner_Grant/hog.htm.

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