Two regional cities receive grants-in-lieu of property taxes
The B.C. Government is distributing $16.9 million in compensation for municipal property taxes to 64 communities throughout British Columbia, Minister of Citizens’ Services and Open Government Ben Stewart announced last week.
Two East Kootenay cities, Cranbrook and Fernie, are among the 64 communities to get funds. Creston is also getting some funds.
Cranbrook will get $28,704.26 and Fernie $2,823, while Creston will receive $14,179.02.
Grants-in-lieu of property taxes are distributed every November as a way to reimburse communities for services that benefited government properties, such as municipally-run sewers, roads and fire protection.
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. Since 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 excluded from compensation under the act.
The funds are distributed electronically on behalf of government by the Ministry of Citizens’ Services and Open Government. The amounts paid are based on the municipality’s tax rate and the assessed value of the properties.
“Grants-in-lieu provide much-needed funding for local governments, allowing them to invest extra money into meaningful projects. These funds can have a huge impact on communities throughout British Columbia because they help municipalities to continue providing services residents and businesses rely on,” stated Minister of Citizens’ Services and Open Government Ben Stewart.
Each municipality distributes a portion of the funds to its regional district, and those governments use the money to help pay for local services.
Since 2002, the government of British Columbia has distributed more than $190 million as grants-in-lieu to B.C. communities.