B.C. homeowner grant threshold confirmed for 2020

Last year’s mark of $1.65 million has bee reduced to $1.525 million

The 2020 homeowner grant threshold in British Columbia has been reduced, to $1.525 million from $1.65 million.

The provincial government noted that 92 per cent of homeowners continue to be eligible for the B.C. Home Owner Grant, with the threshold reduced due to moderating housing prices throughout B.C.

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In previous years, rapidly rising housing prices led to an increase in the threshold.

The homeowner grant reduces the amount of property tax people pay to a municipality or to the province for those who live in a rural area. The grant is reduced by $5 for every $1,000 of assessed value above the threshold, meaning eligible homeowners with properties assessed above the threshold receive a partial grant until it is fully phased out. Some low-income owners, such as seniors or 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.

The homeowner grant amounts are:

• up to $570 for the basic homeowner grant.

• up to $770 if the home is located in a northern or rural area. A "northern or rural area" means outside the Metro Vancouver, Fraser Valley and Capital Regional districts.

• up to $845 for homeowners who are 65 years or older or if the homeowner is a person with a disability or lives with a relative who has a disability.

• up to $1,045 for homes in northern or rural areas where the homeowner is 65 years or older or the homeowner is a person with a disability.

The B.C. government reimburses municipalities for the full cost of the grant to ensure local government tax revenues are not affected.

Homeowners may also be eligible for property tax deferment if they are 55 years or older or are financially supporting a dependent child.

To apply for a B.C. Home Owner Grant, go to www2.gov.bc.ca/gov/content/taxes/property-taxes/annual-property-tax/home-owner-grant.

To apply for the seniors' low-income grant supplement, go to www2.gov.bc.ca/gov/content/taxes/property-taxes/annual-property-tax/home-owner-grant/senior/low-income.

To find out whether you qualify for property tax deferment, go to www2.gov.bc.ca/gov/content/taxes/property-taxes/annual-property-tax/defer-taxes.

People with questions about their assessed property values, including those about challenging their assessments, can contact BC Assessment online at bcassessment.ca.

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