The B.C. government has distributed $87,819.28 to the City of Penticton in compensation for municipal property taxes.
This is an annual payment, according to Penticton mayor Andrew Jakubeit, who explained the amount is the same as if they were receiving the normal property taxes. The city simply bills the province, and receives the grant as payment.
“We’re not out any money, we get what we would have got if another business was in that property,” said Jakubeit, who added that the grant goes directly into the city’s general revenue stream. “I think it is apples and oranges, it’s the same thing.”
Grants-in-lieu of property taxes are distributed every November as a way to reimburse municipalities for services that benefited government properties, such as municipally-run sewers, roads and fire protection. The grants are payable on land and improvements owned by the provincial government such as courthouses, provincial government office buildings and warehouses.
“Reimbursing cities for their services to B.C. government properties help local governments maintain necessary services in the community,” said Penticton MLA Dan Ashton.
Payments are based on the municipality’s tax rate and the assessed property values from BC Assessment.
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, ambulance stations, parks or land under the control, management or administration of a Crown corporation are also excluded from compensation under the act.