B.C. government increases homeowner grant threshold to $1.6 million

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On January 10, the government announced it would be increasing the Home Owner Grant threshold from $1.2 million to $1.6 million.

My colleague, David Eby, Opposition Spokesperson for Housing responded:

B.C. government increases homeowner grant threshold to $1.6 million

January 10, 2017 | Mike Howell

Quote from the article:

David Eby, NDP MLA for Vancouver-Point Grey and his party’s housing critic, said he was startled the threshold was so low for so long, noting it was at $1.1 million in 2014, despite the skyrocketing price of real estate in the province.

“The only surprise to me was it took so long for the government to do this,” Eby told the Courier. “But, clearly, when people started to receive their [property value] assessments, and started calling their MLAs during an election year, that wasn’t going to be feasible.”

The ruling Liberals are heading into an election campaign, where the province’s affordability crisis is expected to be one of the main issues on voters’ minds as they head to the polls in May.

While Eby acknowledged a grant of $570 to offset property taxes on residential properties assessed at more than $1 million may seem like small change for some homeowners, the reality is that selling a property in Vancouver to buy another doesn’t get a person any further ahead.

Many homeowners have also leveraged themselves to the point where the homeowner’s grant could be a breaking point, he said, adding that selling to rent is also problematic, with the rental vacancy rate at below one per cent.

“Sure, you can sell your house, but where are you going to go?” Eby said. “It’s a nice idea that maybe you could borrow against the value of your house, but every economist is saying that our housing market is due for a correction. So you could find yourself under water in a hurry.”

Click here to read the entire article.

More information on property assessments:

Preview of Greater Vancouver 2017 Property Assessments

Understanding Property Assessments & Property Taxes

You may qualify for a low income grant if you are a senior or person with disabilities.  Information on these two programs can be found at:

If you want to appeal your assessment, contact BC Assessment at:  https://www.bcassessment.ca/contact-us.  Most concerns can be resolved through discussion with BCA staff, but if you are still not satisfied, an independent appeal process exists to have your assessment reviewed.

The first level of appeal is to the Property Assessment Review Panel (PARP). Please note that the deadline to appeal a 2017 Assessment is January 31.  Property Assessment Review Panels hear assessment complaints between February 1st and March 15th of each year.

For owners who are not satisfied with a panel decision, a second level of appeal is to the Property Assessment Appeal Board (PAAB).