The B.C. government has distributed over $151,000 in compensation for municipal property taxes to the Town of Smithers and the Village of Hazelton.
The Town of Smithers has received $127,037 and the Village of Hazelton has received $24,088. Altogether, the Province has distributed nearly $16 million in compensation for municipal property taxes to 56 communities around B.C.
Grants-in-lieu of property taxes are distributed every November and reimburse municipalities for services that benefited government properties, such as municipally run sewers, roads and fire protection.
Grants are issued in accordance with the Municipal Aid Act and are payable on land owned by the provincial government such as courthouses, provincial government office buildings and warehouses.
Schools and hospitals are exempt from paying municipal property taxes and are not part of the grants-in-lieu calculation. Other provincial assets such as 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 $254 million in grants-in-lieu to B.C. communities. A portion of the funds are paid by each community to its regional district, and both levels of local government use grants to help pay for local services.
John Rustad, MLA for Nechako Lakes –
“Annual funding from grants-in-lieu gives municipal governments financial support they can count on as they work hard to deliver quality services for the benefit of their residents.”