All you need to know about the Home Owner Grant
The Home Owner Grant reduces the amount of property tax you have to pay on your home as long as its your primary residence.
In 2018, BC government increased the Home Owner Grant threshold to $1.65 million from $1.6 million.
The threshold is the maximum a property can be assessed at by BC Assessment to allow the property owner to claim the full Home Owner Grant.
Province-wide, 91 per cent of homes will remain below the threshold.
The Home Owner Grant threshold applies across the province. It is $1.65 million in 2018.
The grant amounts are:
- $570 for the basic grant.
- $770 if the home is located in a northern or rural area.
- Up to $845 for homeowners who are 65 years or older, or the homeowner is a person with a disability.
- Up to $1,045 for homeowners who are 65 years or older, or the homeowner is a person with a disability if the home is in a northern or rural area.
The Home Owner Grant phases out at a rate of $5 for every $1,000 above the threshold. Because homeowners can qualify for different grant amounts, they fully phase out at different amounts of assessed value.
What are the Home Owner Grant price thresholds?
In Metro Vancouver, Capital Region and the Fraser Valley Regional District, the basic grant fully phases out at $1,764,000, and the higher grant at $1,819,000.
In northern and rural areas, the basic grant fully phases out at $1,804,000 and the higher grant at $1,859,000.
Home Owner Grant and multi-family homes
If you have a laneway home or multi-family dwelling - for example, a duplex, triplex and fourplex - they may qualify as separate residences. A suite in a principal residence doesn’t qualify.
Partitioning the property value may enable a home owner to claim the home owner grant if the:
- home owner previously couldn’t, or could only claim a reduced grant, because of the high assessed value of your property, and
- property consists of your principal residence and at least one separate residence.
A property owner may apply to have the assessed value of their property partitioned using the Home Owner Grant Partitioning of Assessed Value Calculation (FIN 91).
Home Owner Grant must be applied for every year
The grant isn’t provided automatically. Home owners must apply every year when they pay their property taxes. The application is part of the property tax notice that owners will receive in June.
Tax deferment programs
Home owners who have difficulty keeping up with rising property assessments may also be eligible to defer all or a portion of their property taxes.
The BC government also provides property tax deferral programs for qualifying property owners, including seniors aged 55+, persons with disabilities, and families with children.
Deferment programs are low-interest loan programs that allow qualifying residents to defer all or part of their property taxes until they sell or transfer ownership of their home, or it becomes part of an estate. Home owners planning to participate in a tax deferment program should seek appropriate financial advice.