The City of Surrey will be receiving more than $700,000 from the provincial government in lieu of property taxes.
Fifty-four municipalities in B.C. “will benefit from new and updated public infrastructure and critical services,” with the annual grant money, totalling more than $16 million, according to a release from the Ministry of Citizens’ Services on Thursday (Nov. 14).
Surrey is receiving $782,418.
Each November, the province pays the grants in lieu of property taxes to regional districts and municipalities for services they provide in each community, such as parks, sewers, roads and fire protection.
“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,” said Selina Robinson, Minister of Municipal Affairs and Housing and Minister of Citizens’ Services. “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.”
The grants, according to the release, are for properties owned by the provincial government, such as office buildings, warehouses and courthouses. Municipalities then use the grants “to fund and maintain priority public services and local infrastructure projects.”
Grant calculations are determined under the Municipal Aid Act.
“Provincially owned properties are exempt from taxes under the federal Constitution Act,” the release states. “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.”