The BC Government has increased the threshold for the home owner grant by 33%. The home owner grant reduces the amount of property taxes you pay on your principal residence every year. In 2016, a property could not exceed an assessed value of $1.1 million in order to qualify. This year, properties up to an assessed value of $1.6 million are eligible. The goal of this increased threshold is to allow anyone who previously qualified for the grant to qualify again this year, despite rising property values.
Do You Qualify?
In order to qualify for the grant, you must:
- be the registered owner of the residence
- be a Canadian citizen or permanent resident of Canada
- live in BC
- occupy the property as your principal residence
Your Grant Amount
Home owner grants are determined based on the value and location of your property, and the property tax you owe.
Value & Location
If your property has an assessed or partitioned value of $1,600,000 or less, the grant may reduce your taxes up to $570. If your property is located in a northern or rural area, you may qualify for up to $770. If you meet all requirements but your property’s assessed or partitioned value is over $1,600,000 you may qualify for the grant at a reduced amount. The grant is reduced by $5 for each $1,000 of assessed value over $1,600,000. This means that the grant is not available for properties assessed over $1,714,000 (or $1,754,000 in northern and rural areas).
Partitioning your property value may enable you to claim the home owner grant if:
- you previously couldn’t, or could only claim a reduced grant because of the high assessed value of your property, and your property consists of your principal residence and at least one separate residence
- the partitioned value of a property is the property’s assessed value divided by the number of residences on that property. To qualify, each residence must have cooking, sleeping, bathroom and living room facilities.
Laneway homes and multi-family dwellings, such as duplexes, qualify as separate residences. A suite in your principal residence does not qualify as a separate residence.
Most home owners must pay at least $350 in property taxes before claiming the home owner grant. This amount may be less if you qualify as a senior, veteran, or person with a disability. If you purchased your property during the current tax year, you may be eligible for the home owner grant if you meet the following requirements:
- the previous owner didn’t pay all of the property taxes
- the previous owner didn’t claim the grant
- you didn’t receive a grant this year for another home
- you occupy the property when you apply for the grant
The home owner grant that you’re eligible to claim will only be applied against the property taxes that the previous owner didn’t pay.
Click here to learn about how and when to apply for the home owner grant.