An economist who is analysing the province’s homeowner grant program for Metro Vancouver says it needs to be adjusted to reflect the times.
John Merkley with Cascadia Partners, says one of the biggest problems with the grant program is that the same $1.2-million threshold is applied equally across the province.
“In some more rural lower assessed value areas 99% of the homes are eligible under that threshold and then you get into the city of Vancouver where roughly 64% of homes that were eligible under that threshold last year.”
And he says another issue is that home values have changed over the past ten years but the grant amount of $570 dollars has not.
“Now you’re seeing homes that aren’t fancy homes, where working-class families live, that are now being hit with another $500 in property tax that they didn’t expect.”
Merkley says he’d like to see a different system, where the threshold for the grant is region-specific.
The Metro Vancouver Board is calling on the province to adjust the grant program as home assessments skyrocket.
The province says they will assess the program as they build the budget.