Home owner grant cut-off rises

Threshold increase to $1.2 million shields some homes from bigger property tax bite

A house in White Rock listed at $1.2 million.

A house in White Rock listed at $1.2 million.

The B.C. government has raised the threshold to qualify for the full home owner grant to shield some owners from a higher property tax bill.

The jump in assessed values this year would have left owner-occupied homes that have climbed above $1.1 million – the old threshold – with less than the basic $570 home owner grant offsetting taxes.

The revised threshold is $1.2 million and homes above that lose $5 of the grant for every $1,000 in additional value.

That means the grant now disappears altogether for homes worth more than $1.314 million.

The province reduced the threshold in 2014 from a previous $1.295 million in order to skim $11 million from home owner grants to general revenue and it was kept frozen at $1.1 million last year. Seniors, veterans and the disabled also may qualify for an additional grant of up to $275.

The proportion of B.C. homes that are valued below the new cut-off for the full grant is 91 per cent, down from 93 per cent last year and 95 per cent in 2012.

B.C. Real Estate Association chief economist Cameron Muir said the loss of the home owner grant for some property owners is unlikely to impact the market.

“We’re talking about a few hundred dollars per year here,” Muir said. “It has a bigger impact on young home owners who have more stretched budgets.”

But most first-time home buyers aren’t purchasing seven-figure homes, he suggested.

“It’s most relevant to seniors on fixed incomes who have seen a tremendous increase in their property values and it’s allowing many of them not to have that additional drain on their limited income.”

Seniors whose property tax bills have skyrocketed over the years also have the option of deferring property taxes until the eventual sale of the home.

Finance ministry data provided to Black Press shows residents of more affordable areas of the Lower Mainland are much more likely to claim the home owner grant than those in the priciest areas such as Vancouver and the North Shore.

More than 76,600 Surrey homes received the grant in 2014, compared to 63,425 homes in the more populous City of Vancouver.

Many Vancouver homes don’t qualify for the home owner grant because of the more rapid climb in house prices there, but they also don’t qualify if they’re not owner-occupied – for example the city’s thousands of investor-owned condos – or if their owners are not Canadian citizens or landed immigrants normally residing in B.C.

Just Posted

Police tape is shown in Toronto Tuesday, May 2, 2017. Statistics Canada says the country's crime rate ticked up again in 2018, for a fourth year in a row, though it was still lower than it was a decade ago. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Graeme Roy
CRIME STOPPERS: ‘Most wanted’ for the week of June 20

Crime Stoppers’ weekly list based on information provided by police investigators

Cpl. Scott MacLeod and Police Service Dog Jago. Jago was killed in the line of duty on Thursday, June 17. (RCMP)
Abbotsford police, RCMP grieve 4-year-old service dog killed in line of duty

Jago killed by armed suspect during ‘high-risk’ incident in Alberta

Kalyn Head, seen here on June 4, 2021, will be running 100 kilometres for her “birthday marathon” fundraiser on July 23. (Jenna Hauck/ Chilliwack Progress)
Woman’s 100-km birthday marathon from Chilliwack to Abbotsford will benefit Special Olympics B.C.

Kalyn Head hopes run raises awareness, advocates for inclusion of people with intellectual disabilities

Missing Abbotsford man Adam Hobbs was found deceased on Thursday evening (June 17).
Body of missing Abbotsford man Adam Hobbs found

Hobbs was reported missing Monday after leaving his job site in Langley

UFV athletes were honoured for their strength and perseverance during the pandemic. (UFV photo)
Fraser Valley athletes recognized in year without sports

UFV Cascades athletes honoured for strength shown during the pandemic

Marco Mendicino, Minister of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship during a press conference in Ottawa on Thursday, May 13, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Sean Kilpatrick
Canada to welcome 45,000 refugees this year, says immigration minister

Canada plans to increase persons admitted from 23,500 to 45,000 and expedite permanent residency applications

(file)
Pedestrian hit by police vehicle in Langley

Injuries described as serious, requiring surgery

Barbara Violo, pharmacist and owner of The Junction Chemist Pharmacy, draws up a dose behind vials of both Pfizer-BioNTech and Oxford-AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccines on the counter, in Toronto, Friday, June 18, 2021. An independent vaccine tracker website founded by a University of Saskatchewan student says just over 20 per cent of eligible Canadians — those 12 years old and above — are now fully vaccinated. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Nathan Denette
At least 20% of eligible Canadians fully vaccinated, 75% with one dose: data

Earlier projections for reopening at this milestone didn’t include Delta variant

This undated file photo provided by Ernie Carswell & Partners shows the home featured in the opening and closing scenes of The Brady Bunch in Los Angeles. Do you know the occupation of Mike Brady, the father in this show about a blended family? (Anthony Barcelo/Ernie Carswell & Partners via AP, File)
QUIZ: A celebration of dad on Father’s Day

How much do you know about famous fathers?

Emily Steele holds up a collage of her son, 16-year-old Elijah-Iain Beauregard who was stabbed and killed in June 2019, outside of Kelowna Law Courts on June 18. (Aaron Hemens/Capital News)
Kelowna woman who fatally stabbed teen facing up to 1.5 years of jail time

Her jail sentence would be followed by an additional one to 1.5 years of supervision

The George Road wildfire near Lytton, B.C., has grown to 250 hectares. (BC Wildfire Service)
B.C. drone sighting halts helicopters fighting 250 hectares of wildfire

‘If a drone collides with firefighting aircraft the consequences could be deadly,’ says BC Wildfire Service

A dose of the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine is pictured at a vaccination site in Vancouver Thursday, March 11, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
NACI advice to mix vaccines gets varied reaction from AstraZeneca double-dosers

NACI recommends an mRNA vaccine for all Canadians receiving a second dose of a COVID-19 vaccine

A aerial view shows the debris going into Quesnel Lake caused by a tailings pond breach near the town of Likely, B.C., Tuesday, Aug. 5, 2014. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
Updated tailings code after Mount Polley an improvement: B.C. mines auditor

British Columbia’s chief auditor of mines has found changes to the province’s requirements for tailings storage facilities

A North Vancouver man was arrested Friday and three police officers were injured after a 10-person broke out at English Bay on June 19, 2021. (Youtube/Screen grab)
Man arrested, 3 police injured during 10-person brawl at Vancouver beach

The arrest was captured on video by bystanders, many of whom heckled the officers as they struggled with the handcuffed man

Most Read