Property taxes 101
Property tax notices are sent to home owners and businesses in June and are due the first or second business day in July, depending on the municipality.
No tax notice?
Property owners who didn’t receive a tax notice should contact their municipal finance department to get a duplicate notice. It’s the property owner’s responsibility to ensure a municipality has the correct mailing address.
New property owners who didn’t receive a tax notice, or received a tax notice with the previous owners’ name(s) on it, should:
- contact the BC Land Title and Survey Authority at 604-630-9630 for a Certificate of Title to prove ownership; and
- complete the Home Owner Grant application. Effective 2021, all home owner grant applications must be submitted directly to the province. Property owners in municipalities no longer apply through their municipal office.
Property taxes must be paid and the Home Owner Grant claimed by the due date to avoid late penalties.
Reduce your taxes with the Home Owner Grant
Effective 2021, all home owner grant applications are submitted directly to the province. Property owners in municipalities no longer apply through their municipal office.
The BC Home Owner Grant Program helps reduce residential property taxes for Canadian citizens and landed immigrants who are permanent residents and whose home is their principal residence.
1. Regular Home Owner Grant – up to $570 for qualifying home owners. For 2021, the grant is reduced by $5 for each $1,000 of assessed or partitioned value over $1,625,000. (Note: the partitioned value of a property is the property’s assessed value divided by the number of residences on that property). The grant is eliminated on homes assessed at $1,739,000 in Metro Vancouver, Fraser Valley and Capital regional districts, and $1,804,000 in a northern or rural area.
The $770 basic grant for northern and rural area homeowners phases out at $1.779 million.
The $1,045 grant for northern and rural area homeowners who are 65 years or older or are a person with a disability phases out at $1.834 million.
Some low-income seniors, veterans and people with disabilities can also apply for a supplement that replaces any grant amount they lose due to the value of their home being over the threshold.
2. Deceased Home Owner Grant – a spouse, child, grandchild, parent, brother, sister of the estate of a property owner whose death occurred in the current year and qualified for the home owner grant, can apply to receive the home owner grant for a property that is registered in the name of a deceased owner or in the name of the executor or administrator of their estate, if they meet the qualification requirements.
3. Multiple Home Owner Grants – can be claimed by the owner on eligible buildings or land. Eligible buildings must be one of the following:
- a housing co-operative building;
- a housing corporation building;
- a housing society building; or
- a provincially designated apartment building.
Eligible land must be a land co-operative or a multi-dwelling leased parcel.
The owner of an eligible building, land co-operative, or multi-dwelling leased parcel must pass on the benefit of the grant to each eligible occupant.
4. Retroactive Home Owner Grant – qualifying home owners may be eligible for a retroactive grant for the previous year only. Home owners must:
- apply in writing for an extension on or after January 1 and before December 31 in the year following the year the owner didn’t apply for the grant; and
- complete an application form with documentation supporting residency and providing reasons for missing the deadline.
Claim the Home Owner Grant
How to pay property taxes
Check the due date on your tax notice, complete the Home Owner Grant application, and then pay by:
- mail (must be received by the due date);
- at a financial institution;
- at city hall in person or use the city hall drop box;
- through a mortgage;
- by installments through the municipality;
- online at www.epost.ca (for municipalities subscribing to this service); or
- by using the municipality’s own online payment system, if one is available.
Each municipality may have several ways to pay. Check with the property tax department to determine which is the most convenient for you. Make sure to understand the terms and conditions for each method.
No credit card payments
Property owners may be eligible to defer taxes under the BC Property Tax Deferment Program, a low-interest loan program that lets qualifying property owners defer part, or all, of their property taxes on their principal residence.
There are two programs:
1. Regular deferment for property owners age 55 and older, surviving spouses, or persons with a disability.
2. Families with children deferment program.
Visit the BC Ministry of Finance Defer Your Taxes website for details.