On Jan 10, 2017, BC’s Finance Minister announced that the province’s home owner grant program will now include properties with an assessed value of up to $1.6 million – which is up from the previous threshold of $1.2 million.
This $400,000 increase from last year’s limit will ensure nine out of ten homes across the province are eligible to receive a basic home owner grant of $570. The program will apply to four-in-five homes in Metro Vancouver.
BC Home Owner Grant
The basic grant lowers residential property taxes on an owner’s principal residence by up to $570, or if the home is located in a northern and rural area, up to $770. An additional grant is available to home owners 65 years or older, or those who qualify under the persons with disabilities category, or who are the surviving spouse of a veteran who received specific war-veteran allowances. Homeowners must claim the grant.
Property Tax Deferment Program
The Property Tax Deferment Program is a provincial program that allows some homeowners to defer property taxes via a low interest loan:
· The regular program is for those aged 55 and older, a surviving spouse of any age or a person with disabilities. The second group includes families with children.
· The home must be a principal residence and the applicant must be a Canadian citizen or permanent resident. There must be at least 15% equity in the home for families and 25% for the regular program, based on assessed value.
· If an application is approved, the province pays a homeowner’s current year of unpaid property taxes and charges a low interest rate for the loan — currently 0.7% for the regular program and 2.7% for the families with children program. The loan can be paid at any time with no penalty.
· While there is a property tax deferment balance, there is a lien registered against the property. The balance must be repaid before the property is sold; there is a change in property owners other than adding a spouse; or the property is re-financed. For further details click here
Comparing Assessments in Various Areas
An easy way to compare how an assessment relates to the wider neighborhood is by using the following navigation tool – click here to view map
BC Property Assessments can be sourced on the following website – e-value BC