Proposed Increase To Homeowner Grant Threshold
Proposed improvements will safeguard the value of homeowner grants in response to substantial increases in property values, Finance Minister Carole Taylor announced today.
"Another year of continued strength in real estate, housing and construction reveals the confidence people have in BC's economy," said Taylor. "At the same time, rising property values can cause concern for a number of families and seniors who may lose some or all of the homeowner grant because the assessed value exceeds the Home Owner Grant Program threshold. This proposal will be welcome news to those British Columbians."
Government intends to introduce legislation in February, as part of Budget 2006, to raise the level at which homeowners may be eligible to receive the full grant to $780,000 in assessed property value, up from $685,000.
The Home Owner Grant program reduces the burden of residential property taxes for eligible homeowners and is intended to provide the greatest benefit to people with lower-valued homes, who are most often in need.
The basic grant entitles a homeowner to a maximum reduction in residential property taxes of $470. An additional grant of $275 is available if the owner is over 65, or permanently disabled, or eligible to receive certain war-veteran allowances.
Over the past year, assessed residential property values in British Columbia, including new construction, increased by 16 per cent. The new proposed threshold would allow up to 27,000 homeowners, who would otherwise face a reduced benefit, to receive the full grant.
Consisten with previous adjustments made in the past two years, the new threshold would ensure more than 95 per cent of BC homeowners receive the full grant.
More information on the Home Owner Grant Program is available at www.rev.gov.bc.ca/hog/.
Source: BC Ministry of Finance, January 10