The BC government is giving homeowners some leeway on their property taxes, increasing the threshold to $1.6 million in the hopes of ensuring full grants will be received this year.
Finance Minister Michael De Jong says this is a 33% increase from 2016.
“There are benefits associated with having your home go up by $400,000. I understand that some local mayors may have preferred to carve out a part of the province, but this program that exists to the benefit of all British Columbians no matter where they live.”
According to De Jong, 91% of homes are expected to remain below this new threshold, which was $1.2 million a year ago, providing financial space in property taxes for families struggling to make ends meet.
“There are other remedies available to them, including a property tax deferral program and a low-income supplement that will essentially save them from have their properties appreciate beyond the threshold.”
He adds those who qualified for the homeowners grant previously will continue to receive the proper paperwork and funding.
De Jong says he expects the process of determining qualifying homes will be similar to years past.
“Historically, between 90-94% of homes have qualified for the homeowners grant and I don’t see that range changing. So we’ll see what the values show a year from now and make the adjustment accordingly, if it’s required.”
The basic grant will be able to reduce property taxes in the North by $770.
An additional grant will be available to homeowners over the age of 65, qualify under the disabilities category, and/or who are the surviving spouse of a veteran who received war allowances, which will reduce taxes up to $1,045.
The Ministry of Finance is projecting $821 million will be spent on grants this year.
NEW: Increased home owner grant helps families with property taxes, https://t.co/fpirgGNKFd #BCFirst
— BC Government News (@BCGovNews) January 10, 2017