Handful of West Kootenay communities receive grants-in-lieu of property taxes
A handful of communities in the West Kootenay were recipients of the nearly $16 million in compensation for municipal property taxes distributed by the B.C. government.
Nelson, Rossland, Castlegar and Nakusp received grants-in-lieu of property taxes that are distributed every November and reimburse municipalities for services that benefited government properties, such as municipally run sewers, roads and fire protection.
Nelson received $176,528.92; Nakusp $6,594.32; $26,167.94 and Rossland $20,020.53 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.
“By providing grants-in-lieu of property taxes, the Province is compensating municipalities for important services such as sewers, roads and fire protection that have benefited government properties,” said Amrik Virk, Minister of Technology, Innovation and Citizens’ Services.
“Ensuring we pay our fair share to support communities in a timely manner is a priority for our government.”
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 is 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.