Money given back to communities

B.C. government distributes grants-in-lieu of property taxes.

On Nov. 14, Burns Lake received $7576.14 in grants-in-lieu of property taxes.

Grants-in-lieu of property taxes are distributed every November to reimburse municipalities for services that benefited government properties such as municipally run sewers, roads and fire protection.

This year, the B.C. government distributed approximately $17.1 million in compensation for municipal property taxes to 59 communities throughout the province. 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 grant-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 $220 million as 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.

The funds are distributed electronically on behalf of government by the Ministry of Technology, Innovation and Citizens’ Services.