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British Columbia to raise limit on homeowner grant

Justine Hunter, Globe & Mail, Jan 9, 2017

B.C. Finance Minister Mike de Jong will raise the threshold for the province’s homeowner grant this week, after the skyrocketing value of British Columbian homes threatened to cut many homeowners out of the property-tax relief program because their residences are now worth too much.

Mr. de Jong said Monday he will have details later this week of the new threshold,

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Homeowners in ‘shock’ eye assessment appeals

Jeff Nagel, Peace Arch News, January 9, 2017

Some homeowners are in panic mode after receiving property assessments in the mail this month showing huge jumps in their valuations.

And more of them than usual are in a mood to fight back.

That’s the take of Steve Miller, a senior appraiser at Bakerview Realty Appraisals, which handles assessment appeals across the Lower Mainland.

“There’s just a sense of shock and disbelief among the public with respect to assessments right now,”

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Interactive map allows Metro Vancouver homeowners check property assessments against neighbourhood averages

Derrick Penner, Vancouver Sun, January 5, 2017

Looking across the entire Lower Mainland, it was detached homes in Richmond Brighouse neighbourhood that saw the biggest increase in 2017 property assessments, though White Rock was the biggest community to see its average assessment shoot over the threshold for the B.C. Homeowner Grant.

Those results were pulled from data provided to Postmedia by property-data firm Landcor Data Corp., which compiled neighbourhood-by-neighbourhood changes in 2017 property valuations by the B.C.

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Dramatic gains in B.C. assessed property values mean twice as many homeowners no longer qualify for grant

Joanne Lee-Young, The Province, January 04, 2017

Dramatic gains in assessed property values across B.C. mean twice as many homeowners as last year will no longer qualify for tax relief via the province’s homeowner grant program.

That’s because their homes are — on paper, in a snapshot captured at July 2016 — worth too much.

This year, only 83 per cent of homeowners in B.C. will qualify for a grant as the province’s program currently exists,

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Spiking home prices in British Columbia bite into property-tax relief

Mike Hager, The Globe and Mail, Jan. 04, 2017

The skyrocketing value of British Columbian homes would cut twice as many homeowners out of property-tax relief from the provincial government this year compared to last because their residences are now worth too much.

Last year, 91 per cent of all homes in the province were covered by the homeowner grant program, which offers $570 to owners of properties with an assessed value of less than $1.2-million.

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Thousands of Vancouver’s poorest living in buildings listed at risk in earthquake

Gordon Hoekstra, Vancouver Province, Dec 24. 2016

Thousands of the poorest residents in the Downtown Eastside are living in buildings, designated by the City of Vancouver as single-room occupancies, that are at risk in an earthquake.

In the past several years, a dozen of those buildings managed by non-profit organizations have had seismic improvements thanks to a $143-million upgrade program led by B.C. Housing.

But many others designated as single-room occupancies — at least 59 buildings with more than 3,000 rooms — appear to have had no upgrades,

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Transportation costs bog down Richmond’s newly minted millionaires: Yan

Graeme Wood, Richmond News, Dec 21, 2016

It’s a “Boxing week extravaganza,” with prices you may never see again, says urban planner Andy Yan, referring to his map of Richmond with 2016 property values.

Come early January, BC Assessment will have sent out all of its 2017 property value assessments for Richmond, and every detached home property is expected to crest the $1 million mark.

“Single-family property values are uncoupled from local incomes and continue to increase outside the range of incomes,” said Yan,

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100,000 more Metro Vancouver homeowners could lose grant unless province ups cutoff limit

Susan Lazaruk, Vancouver Province, Dec 14, 2016

More than 100,000 homeowners in Metro Vancouver stand to lose all or some of their $570 homeowner grant at property tax time because assessed home values are expected to be up to 50 per cent higher in some cities next year.

In the city of Vancouver, for instance, as many as 30,000 homeowners may be pushed past the $1.2-million eligibility threshold,

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On B.C.’s farmland, mega-mansions and speculators reap the rewards of lucrative tax breaks

Kathy Tomlinson, The Globe & Mail, Nov 20, 2016

Bob Fisher shakes his head as he looks over at the palatial new building next door to his beekeeping operation. It was supposed to be a single-family farmhouse – approved as such by city hall – built on some of Canada’s best farmland, in this suburb south of Vancouver.

Instead, it’s a 23,000-square-foot mega-mansion – with Roman columns, a grand marble entrance and luxurious guest suites.

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B.C. earthquake threatens Vancouver buildings

Gordon Hoekstra, The Province, Oct 30, 2016

On Dec. 3, 2013, Vancouver city staff updated city council on a plan to prepare for a major earthquake.

Council asked for the report in 2011, after deadly earthquakes in New Zealand, where 185 people were killed, and in Japan, where the death toll from the ensuing tsunami was more than 16,000.

Under the update, the city was to establish a technical committee to advise it how to reduce the risk of private buildings collapsing or being badly damaged in an earthquake.

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