Cranbrook, Fernie get grants-in-lieu of property taxes
Today (Nov. 15) the B.C. Government will distribute approximately $18.2 million in compensation for municipal property taxes to 63 communities throughout the province. This years’ compensation represents an increase of $1.3 million over last year’s payments.
Only two East Kootenay communities will receive funds – Cranbrook ($29,428.45) and Fernie ($2,858.71).
Grants-in-lieu of property taxes are distributed annually as a way to reimburse municipalities for services that have benefited government properties, such as sewers, roads and fire protection. The amounts paid are based on the assessed value of the properties and the municipality’s tax rate.
According to the Municipal Aid Act, a grant-in-lieu is payable on land owned by the provincial government – for example, courthouses, provincial government office buildings, ambulance stations and warehouses. Because schools and hospitals are exempt from paying municipal property taxes, a grant-in-lieu is not payable on these properties. In addition, highways, forests, parks or land under the control, management or administration of a Crown corporation are also excluded from compensation under the act.
Since 2002, the Government of British Columbia has distributed more than $208 million as grants-in-lieu to communities. Each municipality distributes a portion of the funds to its regional district, and those governments use money to help pay for local services.
The funds are distributed electronically on behalf of government by the Ministry of Technology, Innovation and Citizens’ Services.
Also getting funds are Creston ($14,007.78) and Golden ($4,512.46).