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B.C. government sets a lower home value for those claiming a tax grant

VICTORIA — The threshold is being lowered for homeowners who qualify for a grant to help offset property taxes in British Columbia.

The provincial government says a decline in housing prices is behind the decision to lower the property value threshold to qualify for the full grant.

The threshold for 2020 is set at $1.525 million, down from $1.65 million in 2019.

The Finance Ministry says 92 per cent of homeowners will be eligible for the full $570 grant in 2020, the same as last year.

BC Assessment said Thursday there was an 11 per cent annual decline in the typical value of single-family homes in Vancouver, with the average assessment standing at $1.57 million as of July 1, 2019.

Residents whose homes are over the $1.525 million threshold are still able to claim some of the grant, which is reduced by $5 for every $1,000 of assessed value above the threshold.

Those 65 and older who are living in their homes in northern and rural areas can claim as much as $1,045 off their annual tax bill under the grant program.

Homeowners may also be eligible for property tax deferment if they are 55 years or older or are financially supporting a dependent child.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Jan. 3, 2020.

The Canadian Press

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