Grants in place of Home Owner Grant Act benefits
First Nations that provide their own home owner grant program as part of the implementation of independent real property taxation on reserve lands may qualify under the Indian Self Government Enabling Act for annual grants in place of the benefits payable under the Home Owner Grant Act.
The grant amount is the amount by which the home owner grants approved by the First Nation for the year exceed the provincial school taxes that would have been collected, had the province continued its taxing authority. This is similar to the treatment of municipalities under the Home Owner Grant Act.
The Indian Self Government Enabling Act provides that the following types of conditions may be attached to the payment of the grant:
- Conditions about the persons to whom the First Nation must pass on the benefit of the grant.
- Conditions about the way the persons who are entitled to the benefit will be determined, and how the amount of the benefits to them will be determined and calculated.
- Conditions under which the amount of the grant depends on the correlation between the school taxes that would have been paid for the year had independent taxation not been implemented and the amount paid by the First Nation to the provincial government for school services for the year.
In order to qualify for the grant, the First Nation's home owner grant program should mirror that of the provincial program administered under the Home Owner Grant Act (please see the Home Owner Grant section of the ministry's website for details).
To apply for a grant under the Indian Self Government Enabling Act, the First Nation sends a written application to the B.C. Surveyor of Taxes with a copy of the First Nation's assessment roll and a list of all taxpayers who paid real property taxes for the year.
The list of taxpayers must include the following information for each taxpayer:
- property tax folio number,
- taxpayer's name,
- if an additional home owner grant for being 65 or older was approved, taxpayer's date of birth,
- tax amount levied (before any grant amount was deducted), and
- home owner grant amount approved, if any.
The grant application can be submitted as soon as all the home owner grants have been approved for the year and should be addressed to:
Surveyor of Taxes
Minister of Finance
PO Box 9446 STN PROV GOVT
Victoria BC V8W 9V6
The Ministry of Finance Property Taxation Branch is responsible for administering the grant applications.
If you have questions about the grant program, please email the School Tax Administrator, Property Taxation Branch: PennyRae.Schur@gov.bc.ca