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Home Owner Grant

A Quick History of this Unique Benefit

Every year since Premier WAC Bennett instituted it in 1957, most British Columbian homeowners have received a little relief from their property taxes, in the form of the provincial home owner grant. No other province in Canada offers this grant, and in this final week before property taxes are due in Lions Bay, The Watershed dives into the topic of this odd little savings opportunity.

The home owner's grant may have first been created as a sketchy electioneering tactic by the provincial Social Credit party. It must have worked to some degree, for party leader Bennett went on to be British Columbia's longest-running premier, holding the office for twenty years.

In any case, many British Columbians have benefitted from this small discount since then. In 2023, the revenue saved by provincial homeowners bloomed to nearly $1 billion, a number clearly not foreseen by Bennett and his colleagues.

The tax relief is not without its detractors. Every year, editorials are written suggesting the home owner grant should be abolished, and the funds distributed to people who are more in need than those who enjoy the privilege of home ownership. Objections notwithstanding, the grant is still available in 2023 for qualified homeowners who apply.

In 2021, BC municipalities handed the administration of the grant back to the government, and applications must now be made online HERE, before taxes are remitted. It also may be possible to apply for last year's grant, if you missed out on your application in 2022.

In Lions Bay, to qualify for the grant, you must be the registered owner of the residence (or a spouse or relative of the deceased owner), be a Canadian citizen or permanent resident of Canada, and live in the property as your principal residence. The assessed value of your property must be $2,125,000 or less. With property values skyrocketing, even with the cap substantially lifted this year, more BC home owners than ever no longer qualify.

This year, the standard grant is $550 for homeowners in the metropolitan regions of the province (including Lions Bay), and $770 for rural homeowners. If you are over 65 years of age, you qualify for a further $250. Supplements are also offered to veterans, and people with disabilities. There are more detailed requirements for properties that are not single-family dwellings. All the specifics can be found HERE on the provincial government website.

In Lions Bay, property taxes are due this Friday, July 14.

Have thoughts to share about the homeowner grant or property taxes in general? The Watershed is listening. Leave your comment below, or drop us a line at

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