British Columbians in 53 communities will benefit from almost $16 million paid by the Province to local governments in lieu of property taxes.
“Local governments throughout B.C. play a critical role in ensuring communities throughout the province are healthy, safe and prosperous,” said Jinny Sims, Minister of Citizens’ Services. “Grants-in-lieu help municipalities and regional districts provide important local services that British Columbians depend on.”
The Province pays local governments grants-in-lieu of property taxes each November. The funds reimburse municipalities and regional districts for services they provide for provincial properties, such as parks, sewers, roads and fire protection. The amount of the grants-in-lieu of taxes is determined under the Municipal Aid Act. Local governments can use the funding to pay for sewers, roads and fire protection.
“We are thrilled to be working hand-in-hand with local governments to ensure that British Columbians have access to the services they need,” said Selina Robinson, Minister of Municipal Affairs and Housing. “These grants provide funds to ensure that our communities are strong and vibrant places where everyone can thrive.”
By law, 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 ongoing annual funding is provided by the Province as reimbursement for services we provide to provincial properties,” said Andy Adams, mayor of Campbell River. “In Campbell River, this means continued support for emergency services and infrastructure renewal as part of our 10-year financial plan.”
- In 1963, the Government of B.C. recognized its responsibility to compensate municipalities for local services that benefited provincially owned properties.
- The Province pays municipalities and regional districts the same amount through grants-in-lieu that would be paid through property taxes.
- Each municipality distributes a portion of the funds to its regional district, and those governments use the money to help pay for local services.
- The Province is exempted from paying tax to municipal governments by legislation contained in the Community Charter and the Municipal Aid Act.
- Payments are based on the municipality's tax rate and the assessed property values from BC Assessment.
Local governments grants-in-lieu: https://www2.gov.bc.ca/gov/content/governments/local-governments/finance/requisition-taxation/grants-in-lieu-of-taxes
A backgrounder follows.