Friday, November 15, 2019

Province pays out 2019 grants in lieu of taxes across the Northwest

Terrace and Smithers were the largest recipients in the Northwest once again from the distribution of grants in lieu of taxes by the Provincial government for 2019.

That as the province delivered on the financials for properties and government buildings that they own across the region.

The list of funding for communities across British Columbia was released by the Provincial government yesterday.

From the announcement from Municipal Affairs Minister Selina Robinson, it was noted that Terrace was delivered the largest amount at $138,520, with Smithers a close second receiving $128,310 from the provincial government.

Those numbers based on the larger presence that Provincial offices and services have in those communities of the Northwest, with both communities in effect local service centres for their Regions, Terrace for Skeena/North Coast, Smithers for the Bulkley Valley.

With few in the way of government offices or service left in Prince Rupert the City of Prince Rupert will only see $47,253 from the province, most of that focused on the Court House and other local service locations.

The low financial returns for Prince Rupert are consistent with the years of the past.

That as the Provincial government took moves to make Terrace the service centre for the region, with over after more than two decades of offices moving down the highway,  relocating to the Skeena region, with few provincial offices returning to Prince Rupert since the larger exodus of twenty years ago.

The Prince Rupert Court House is one of the few provincially owned properties in
the city that the province provides grants in lieu of taxes  to the City for

The Grants in lieu of Taxes financial stream is deliver each November, with the province paying the grants for service that each community provides, such as parks, sewers, roads and fire protection. The municipalities use the grants to fund and maintain priority public services and infrastructure services.

“We’re proud to support the important work local governments do every day to create jobs, strengthen our local economies and deliver the services British Columbians rely on. These annual grants play a critical role in helping local governments with planning – they use the funding to provide vital services and infrastructure that help improve people’s lives.” -- Selina Robinson, Minister of Municipal Affairs and Housing and Minister of Citizens’ Services

The Grant calculations are determined under the Municipal Aid Act, with Provincially owned properties exempt from taxes under the federal Constitution Act.

However, for certain properties, such as government buildings, the Province pays a grant in lieu of taxes. Other provincially owned properties, such as roads and parks, are exempt from paying grants in lieu of taxes under the Municipal Aid Act. Schools and hospitals are also exempt under the law as they are not owned by the provincial government.

The full list of what each community in British Columbia received from the province for 2019 can be viewed here.

For more notes on the work of the British Columbia Legislature see our archive page here.

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