With Vancouver home values up 17 per cent over the past year, and the benchmark price for a single-family home in Greater Vancouver now at $1,248,600, the BC government took steps January 5 to help out with rising property taxes.
The Home Owner Grant, which offers up to $570 a year to home owners who are the primary residents of their property, is now available to owners of homes worth up to $1.2 million. This is a rise of 9.1 per cent from the $1.1 million threshold last year.
For properties assessed above the threshold, home owners can still apply for the grant, but the amount is reduced by $5 for every $1,000 of assessed value over $1.2 million.
Finance Minister Mike de Jong said that under the 2016 assessments, more than 91 per cent of homes in BC are below the $1.2 million threshold and that, last year, the program gave back nearly $800 million to BC residents.
An additional grant up to $275 is available for homeowners who are aged 65 or over, who qualify under the persons with disabilities category, or who are eligible to receive certain war-veteran allowances. The northern and rural home owner benefit provides an additional $200 in property tax relief to households outside the Greater Vancouver, Fraser Valley and Capital Regional Districts.
Low-income homeowners who would have received the additional home owner grant except for the high value of their home can apply for a low-income grant supplement.
The announcement came as BC property assessments arrive in the mail this week, many of which, especially single-family homes in Greater Vancouver, reveal sharp rises in property values.
The highest valued home in BC is a 30,600-square-foot waterfront contemporary mansion in Kitsilano belonging to Lululemon co-founder Chip Wilson, valued at nearly $64 million.