Local councillor recommends homeowner diligence as province takes over grant program administration

FORT.ST JOHN, B.C – A local councillor is suggesting residents keep track of property tax payments as the prov…

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FORT.ST JOHN, B.C – A local councillor is suggesting residents keep track of property tax payments as the province begins handling the Home Owner Grant program.

The 2021 grant, with a threshold set at $1.625 million, will now be dealt with through the B.C government.

Previously, homeowners would go straight to City Hall to get the grant signed off before receiving funds from the province.  Now, to ‘ease the burden on municipalities’ owners will submit applications directly to the government.

City of Fort St. John councillor Trevor Bolin applauds the ability to apply for the grant online but worries there might be problems with the newly implemented process.

“My hopes and going forward is that they, the province has looked at the best routes to ensure that this is an easy process, and to ensure that there is not a mix up of you know, maybe those fees not being accredited on people’s account.”

This especially goes for the majority of property owners that pay their taxes through their monthly bank payments.

“We need to ensure that that’s not affected, because the last thing we want to see is that those taxes get shorted from either a delay or a hiccup in this system that the province is using, and all of a sudden that ends up on the tax roll because that portion wasn’t credited.”

He recommends people keep copies of their submitted applications and reach out to the bank to ensure the proper amount was submitted.

“Let’s be proactive, especially, in the first year of this because sometimes when stuff rolls out, it’s not always in the condition it should be.”

The grant, which opens in May, will give a tax break to up to $770 and up to $1,045 for seniors over 65 years old or people with a disability for homeowners located in a northern or rural area.

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