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October 27, 2017 7:24 pm

Boost to Home Owner Grant Threshold Won’t Help the North

Tuesday, January 10, 2017 @ 3:00 PM

Prince George, B.C.-  Earlier today,  B.C. Finance Minster Mike de Jong announced the threshold for  qualifying for the basic homeowner grant to reduce tax burden, has been boosted but it is largely a benefit to the  Lower Mainland.

The threshold has been  increased to $1.6 million dollars to   ensure  homeowners who have experienced increases in their  property assessments because of a hot real estate market,  can continue to receive the  grant.

In northern B.C.,  it means   just  seven property owners  will  now qualify for the  basic grant which,  when combined with  the northern  or rural bonus, means   a savings of  $770 dollars.

Specifically,  there  are  just 2 properties in Prince George ( one  rural)  which  will now qualify.   The other  five properties are in the Peace region.

There is an additional grant available for  home owners  aged 65  or older,  or who have disabilities,  or are the surviving spouse of a  veteran  who received certain veteran allowances.

The Province  reimburses municipalities  for the  home owner grants  to  ensure municipal revenues are  not impacted.   The change in threshold ( up 33%) means  the Province will pay out  $821 million in reimbursements, up from the  $809 million paid to municipalities  last year.



I wonder if it would not be more equitable if the home owner grant were to be based on the actual municipal taxes paid rather than the estimated value of the property. The municipal taxes paid are simply the value multiplied by the mil rate and do not change that much over time other than a generalised increase. Basing it on the taxes actually paid would enable the government to stop favouring one part of the province over the other since the disparity between taxes is almost certainly less than the disparity between property values.

    Good point. I agree.

This is only the beginning on home affordability in the lower mainland. The chattering class down there is now talking about sales tax cuts and income tax cuts for those that live in the Lower mainland to help make the region more affordable in light of the higher housing costs.

Get ready for the two tier tax system because that is what the majority in Vancouver are now calling for. They sold their city to foreigners and now the foreigners want to vote themselves a tax cut at the expense of the rest of the province… To make it more affordable to live there.

Too funny . Scoclibs ridings are getting a treat . There must be a few in PG that are going to get a taste as well . There must be quite a few in her riding of west Kelowna that qualify , or aspire too.

    Just two ain’t even a few . Comedy lives in PG .

I must be a bit thick today. I find this statement confusing:

“In northern B.C., it means just seven property owners will now qualify for the basic grant which, when combined with the northern or rural bonus, means a savings of $770 dollars.”

Seems to me that just about every home owner in the north qualifies for the basic grant. Anyone up here with a shack in the bush that is valued in excess of $1,600,000.00 is probably not the least concerned with home owner grants.

    I would think that means $770 on top of what their grant is now. But agree, if you own a million dollar house do you really need a break on the taxes? Downsize if you can’t afford it.

      It means that by raising the threshold only 7 additional homes in the North qualify for the grant.

      The rich get richer…

      The grant should also be tied to income as well as house value. There are people in the lower mainland who have owned their house for decades, long before the Chinese ever heard of Vancouver, and they are the ones who should be getting the grant. Sitting on a million dollar lot doesn’t really help you when you’re living on CPP.

      Do you guys even know how the homeowner grant works?

      I am not going to look it up but it is a savings on your property tax is somewhere around 540 bucks a year. Those living in the “north” – beyond PG get an extra northern amount on to their grant making it as stated in the article – a 770 per year deduction on your principle residence. People in the “north” also get a income tax deduction for a northern amount. Those living where we are and south of us do not get the “northern amount”

      Because prices went through the roof in the lower mainland a lot of people now went over the threshold and lost their grant. Up here an increase of 5% and pretty much noone lost the grant. The increase in threshold means people who had the grant last year will still have the grant this year.

      Doesn’t make the rich richer, or any such nonsense – it is a one time amount off your property tax and “not combined with any other offer”. The grant is applied to your property tax for the year ONLY if it is your principle residence. If you own multiple properties you can only claim one grant.

      What has been lost in this article and peoples minds is there are no “new” people getting the grant in the lower mainland (with the exception in the “north” possibly) – but rather those who had the grant last year still can qualify and claim it. Some who had the grant last year still won’t and are probably peed as well because their property increase was too large to be captured in the increase. The threshold went up 25% but some people’s property was assessed over 30% increase in the lower mainland.

      “What has been lost in this article and peoples minds is there are no “new” people getting the grant in the lower mainland (with the exception in the “north” possibly) – but rather those who had the grant last year still can qualify and claim it”

      I call BS on that. The lower mainland goes a lot further then Vancouver, there are houses in the suburbs that now qualify for the grant thanks to the raised limit.

      I call BS on your BS, Langley increased an average of 36%, Kelowna increased an additional 30%, the threshold increased 25%

      Yes some people living in Penticton, Cache Creek, the Kootenays, the north, etc will get an added 500 bucks off their principle residence. Oh the horror

      Oh sorry, Abbotsford 47%, Chilliwack 33%, Mission 38%…

I think most of you have missed the point. With an election in the near future the liberals are catering to where the most votes and ridings are, which is in the Lower mainland and the south end of Vancouver Island.

    Yep mactac you seem to be the only one here that gets it . Except you left out the OK . How much is mike Harris’s place in Osoyoos worth ? Ever feel like you’re being had ?

      mike harris? you do know that we live in b.c. and not Ontario. maybe you didn’t know that DICK harris might be the one you are talking about? unless the ex premier of Ontario bought in the OK, then my mistake

      I thought a “money manager” like yourself would at least get this one. Property taxes in the southern part of the province went up 30% or more, the increase in threshold was a one time 25% increase. That leaves some people who qualified for a grant not qualifying this year even with the increase. Up in the north we gained 7 properties, using your straw man argument maybe they are looking for votes from those 7 people up in the north?

      Yes I meant DICK ! The whole/hole thing is obvious . Very few in this area are willing and or able to put a million + dollars into their primary residence . I wouldn’t either . It also proves that the money doesn’t stay here . Dicks went as far away from PG that was possible without leaving the province . Dick was a smart guy for a tire salesman . The people that voted for him , not so smart . They voted against their own self interest . Go figure !

Before you get “outraged” read the actual article.

Read the second paragraph, those who were going to lose their grant this year can “continue” to receive the grant in the lower mainland where house assessments jumped over 30%, Coquitlam saw a 55% increase. Yes they can continue to get 500 bucks off their property taxes. A single family home on a 33 foot wide lot in Vancouver’s eastside went from 947,000 and qualifying for the grant to 1.34 million and no longer qualifying for a 500 dollar grant off its property taxes. That is on top of 28 percent increases the year before.

ht tp://vancouversun.com/news/local-news/metro-vancouver-homeowners-receiving-2017-assessment-increases-of-30-per-cent-to-over-50-per-cent

Unfortunately this catches 7 new homes in the northern part of the province that may or may not have qualified for the grant last year. Those evil Liberals allowing 2 houses in PG to get to claim an additional 500 off their property tax, oh the outrage.

This has nothing to do with the amount of property taxes you will be assessed, that is by mill rate determined by your city council or rural district.

There is always a conspiracy theory somewhere in the woodpile isn’t there?
Now if you look at what ridings will benefit the most from a move that restores the home owner grant to those that had it last year, and were set to lose it this year due to rising assessments, you will note that this move does not affect the more affluent areas eg the Liberal held ridings at all. The values there are so far beyond the threshold of $1.6M that it’s not even a consideration.
It is in fact the less affluent areas such as East Vancouver, Burnaby, New Westminster, Port Coquitlam etc that elected Dippers in the last election that will benefit the most. The same goes for the Island. How many Liberal MLAs are there on the island? Sorry to debunk yet another conspiracy theory about the Liberals helping the rich though. I guess the reality of restoring the grant to a senior that has been in her house for 40 years is not quite as sexy as what people like Ataloss or BH, or mactac would like us to believe!

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