I consider myself lucky to live in rural British Columbia and I’m sure most people living in the Cariboo-Chilcotin share this sentiment.
There is something wonderful about living outside the hustle and bustle of a big city. We live a different lifestyle in northern and rural parts of the province than our urban counterparts and because of all the differences, we are taxed differently. Back in 2009 the government announced that starting this year a Northern and Rural Homeowner Benefit program will provide an exemption of up to $200 for eligible homeowners in British Columbia.
To be eligible you must meet the requirements for the basic homeowner grant and your home must be located within B.C., but outside of the Capital Regional District, the Greater Vancouver Regional District and the Fraser Valley Regional District. These are the types of small and meaningful tax breaks this government has implemented to help northern and rural British Columbians as we strive to leave more money in the pockets of families. The Northern and Rural Homeowner Benefit program is just one more way that the government is helping families in B.C. make ends meet.
I will admit, when that time of year comes around, no one wants to have to pay their property taxes, but it is a reality we live with. Our taxes support our healthcare and education needs here in British Columbia and ensure that government programs are properly funded to help those that need them.
Reducing the burden of property taxes as much as possible is what this government is working to accomplish. I will continue to advocate for northern and rural British Columbians and work to find further ways to support families in the Cariboo-Chilcotin.
For more info on homeowner grants available to British Columbians, visit: http://www.rev.gov.bc.ca/individuals/Property_Taxes/Home_Owner_Grant/hog.htm.
Donna Barnett is the Liberal MLA for Cariboo Chilcotin.