The Home Owner Grant is one of the property tax assistance programs offered by the province. The program began in 1957 to help homeowners reduce the amount of taxes they pay on their home. There are two categories of grants which may reduce a home owner’s property taxes:
Basic Grant of $570
To qualify for the Basic Grant you must:
- be the owner (or a spouse/relative of the deceased owner) of the property;
- be a permanent resident of British Columbia;
- occupy the building on the tax notice as your principal residence;
- have not applied for or received a home owner grant on any other property in the Province during the calendar year; and
- no other person can have received a home owner grant on the property for the calendar year.
Additional grant of $845
To qualify for the additional grant you must be:
- age 65 or over; or
- a person with disabilities or the spouse or relative of a person with a permanent disability (your physician must complete a “Certificate of Person with Disabilities and Property Owner” (Form B) available from the Property Tax Department); or
- in receipt of a disability allowance or benefit under the Disability Benefits Program Act (you must enclose a letter from the Ministry of Human Resources confirming your eligibility); or
- receiving an allowance under the War Veteran Allowance Act (Canada) or the Merchant Navy Veteran and Civilian War-related Benefits Act (Canada). Please note that War Disability Pensions do not apply.
The grant is reduced by $5 for each $1,000 of assessed value over $1,600,000. Home owners eligible for the basic grant must pay a minimum tax of $350 and home owners eligible for the additional grant must pay a minimum tax of $100.
Application for the Provincial Home Owner Grant may be made whether or not the current taxes are being paid at the same time. The application form for the grant is located on the front of the Tax Notice. Unclaimed Home Owner Grant after the property tax due date is also subjected to the 10% penalty. The home owner is still responsible for claiming the Home Owner Grant even if the property tax payment is being made by the owner’s financial institution.
Additional information may be obtained from the provincial Home Owner Grant Branch website or by phone at 250-387-0555.