B.C Home Owner Grant helps reduce property taxes

By Angel St. George

Published 10:39 PST, Fri March 4, 2022

Last Updated: 3:53 PDT, Tue March 29, 2022

The B.C Home Owner Grant is available to homeowners that pay property tax and reduces the amount paid on principal residences. 

Eligible people can only have one principal residence, and applicants who own more than one home can’t designate which one of their properties is a principal residence.

A resident must occupy their principal dwelling at the time of their application. Exceptions may be available for anyone working outside of the province, moving into a residential care facility, moving out due to damage or renovations, absent due to medical, travel or education.

The provincial government announced in January that it has increased the grant threshold to $1.975 million for 2022, covering 92 per cent of residential properties. 

The grant is reduced by $5 for every $1,000 of assessed value above the new threshold. Properties assessed higher than $2.1 million are not eligible.

Property owners must pay at least $350 in property taxes to help fund services such as road maintenance and police protection.

Most residential property taxpayers in Metro Vancouver qualify for the basic Home Owner Grant that provides a minimum relief of $570. Owners who are veterans, seniors aged 65 or older, have a disability, or live with a relative who has a disability are eligible to apply for additional supplemental grants.

Partitioning a principal residence may enable an owner to claim the grant. The partitioned value of a property is the assessed value divided by the number of residences on that property. 

To qualify, each division of the residence must have cooking, sleeping, bathroom, and living facilities. A suite in a principal residence doesn’t qualify as a separate residence, but laneway homes and multi-family dwellings like a duplex, triplex, or fourplex meet the requirements. 

Recipients must apply for the grant annually and applications are audited for up to seven years to make sure taxpayers are eligible for the grants they receive.

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