Canada’s most expensive province is finally giving hard-hit millionaire homeowners some help. The Government of British Columbia (GBC) raised the threshold for its Home Owner Grant. A primary residence worth up to nearly $2 million is eligible for the property tax rebate. Programs like this are usually for low-income households, not millionaire homeowners. The subsidy either says a lot about affordability in BC or explains its sky-high home prices.
BC Home Owner Grant
The BC Home Owner Grant provides funds to help lower the cost of property taxes. Any resident with a primary residence is eligible to apply as long as their home’s value is below the threshold value. For 2022, the threshold is $1,975,000, up 21.5% from the year before. You read that right; the threshold increased by over a fifth of last year’s threshold.
The threshold increase isn’t the measure of home prices or the inflation rate. It’s the amount the province thinks households need, to help to pay their property taxes.
The BC Government Is Handing Out Up To $770 To Reduce Property Tax Burdens
Most people claiming their principal residence in BC are eligible for the grant. In Metro Vancouver and the Capital A district, the maximum is $570. The rest of the province can claim up to $770 from the grant. Not only does BC have some of the lowest property tax rates in Canada and the US, but owners also get a subsidy to pay property taxes on expensive housing.
The BC Home Owner Grant Is A Sweet Deal For Owners and a Raw One For Buyers
Reducing property taxes makes it easier to carry higher debt loads more comfortably. A property tax subsidy adds to the maximum credit service capacity of households. At the median household income, this would translate to supporting home prices 1 to 1.5% higher. Existing owners get up to $770 off on their home, and the typical home price gets a boost of about $12k. Great news if you own, bad news if you’re trying to buy.
The BC Home Owner Grant is an odd program for $2 million homes. Typically this kind of program is used to help low-income households or families with special needs. Most people would find it difficult to classify someone living in a $2 million home as needing financial assistance.
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But anyone trying to get into this housing market needs all the help they can get!
This same BC NDP government promised a rent rebate of $400 annually to low and middle income renters. This proposal, originally promised in the 2017 provincial election and again in the 2020 election, still has not been enacted and likely never will be.
Even for the NDP, it is apparently unacceptable to throw a few crumbs to working class renters. But subsidizing millionaire homeowners is entirely reasonable.
Well they did limit Rent increases which the Lib/Trumpers would never do…
This is more crabology at play. The fact is these are usuallt not rich peopke their average hardworking people. Taxing those that have to give to those that are jealous does a huge disservice to society. This is why we have Engineers from Russia coming here and being thrilled to get a low pay labour job . Is this what we want for Canada?
You seem confused (and semi-literate). This article is criticizing a taxpayer handout to people sitting on multi-million dollar properties. It is not arguing for any sort of handout from “those that can give to those that are jealous”.
And if being hardworking is sufficient excuse for taxpayers to subsidize people’s financial and tax obligations, then where are the handouts for hardworking renters?
They also seem to be missing that giving these hard working millionaire homeowners a break on property taxes mean they take it out of my income taxes. If Vancouver wants to have $2 million crack shacks, why am I paying for it from Calgary?
WOW..Tax Payer money for the rich ..It is less ..We need more .Can it be increased..I will buy a house below 20 million ..
Well what can we do to change this?
Poverty stricken millionaires, only in Canada!
WOW, Tax payers money to the rich. I believe there is something really wrong in the system.
What can we do to fix this?
Simple – do the exact opposite of everything the heavily-lobbied, can-down-the-road-kicking government is doing:
– raise interest rates, or at least set a different rate of interest for housing
– disallow all corporate ownership of residential properties (i.e., you have to be a human)
– remove capital gains exemption on all properties
– increase property taxes to fund
– stop subsidizing housing with tax payer dollars
– care about the future of our citizens
You know, do what any sane, financially responsible person would do.
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