BC Home Owner Grant
Since 1957, the BC Government has helped reduce the amount of property taxes through a program entitled the Home Owner Grant, you pay to your local government. To be eligible for the grant, the property owner must be:
- A Canadian citizen or landed immigrant and reside in British Columbia.
- The registered owner or eligible occupant of the home located within the province.
- Living in the home as your principal residence. The grant doesn’t apply to summer cottages, second homes or rental properties.
Spouses who live together, who are married or live together in a marriage-like relationship, including same-sex partners, can qualify for a grant on one residence in the province in a calendar year. Spouses who live apart can each claim a grant on their principal residence if they have a written separation agreement or a court order recognizing the separation.
Eligible home owners must apply for their grant each year before their tax due date.
How much is the grant?
According to VIREB, for 2011, the basic grant reduces taxes for home owners under the age of 65 by up to $570. The additional grant for home owners aged 65+ and eligible veterans and disabled home owners is $275, for up to a total of $845. The basic grant is reduced by $5 for each $1,000 of assessed value over $1,150,000 and is eliminated on homes assessed at $1,264,000 and above. The additional grant is reduced by $5 for each $1,000 of assessed value over $1,150,000 and is eliminated on homes assessed at $1,319,000 and above. For information, please visit: www.sbr.gov.bc.ca/hog
New initiatives in 2011:
- The Industrial Property Tax Credit increased to 60 per cent of school property taxes payable by light and major industrial properties.
- There is a new credit of 50 per cent of school property taxes for land classified as ‘farm’.
Multiple owners, multiple grants?
If you own a property with others, decide which owner will pay the taxes so you don’t pay twice. If, for example, there are three owners living in a dwelling as a principal residence, only one Home Owner Grant can be claimed.
You may qualify for the Home Owner Grant if you’re a shareholder of a corporation, or a member of a housing cooperative or housing society that owns:
- an apartment building
- housing cooperative buildings
- housing society buildings
The corporation or cooperative or society applies for grants for all eligible property or units in the building and passes the grant benefit to qualifying occupants. An eligible property includes:
- land shown as a separate taxable parcel on a tax roll that has a taxable improvement
- a building containing at least two apartment units, each occupied by an eligible occupant
- eligible land cooperative residences
- a multi-dwelling leased parcel with two or more residences on it
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