This month, the B.C. government distributed over $16 million to 54 communities around the province in lieu of municipal property taxes.
“These grants-in-lieu cover land and property owned by the provincial government, such as office buildings, warehouses and courthouses. Local governments provide vital public services that benefit all members of their community,” said Minister of Citizens’ Services Jinny Sims. "They know their communities best and these grants help fund those priority projects.”
Grants-in-lieu of property taxes are distributed every November and reimburse local B.C. municipalities for the services they provide to the public and their support of public infrastructure, such as parks, municipally run sewers, roads and fire protection.
“These grants provide valuable funding that allows local governments to invest in services British Columbians count on,” Minister of Municipal Affairs and Housing Selina Robinson said. “Our government is committed to supporting local governments as they build and sustain vibrant, healthy communities.”
Schools and hospitals are exempt from paying municipal property taxes and are not part of the grants-in-lieu calculation. Also excluded from compensation under the Municipal Aid Act are provincial assets including highways, forests, and parks or land under the control, management or administration of a Crown corporation.
The Ministry of Citizens' Services distributes the funds electronically on behalf of the provincial government.
A backgrounder follows.