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British Columbians in 54 municipalities will benefit from new and updated public infrastructure and critical services, thanks to grants in lieu of property taxes totalling more than $16 million.

"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."

Each November, the Province pays grants in lieu of property taxes to municipalities and regional districts for services they provide in their communities, such as parks, sewers, roads, and fire protection. The grants are for properties owned by the provincial government, such as office buildings, warehouses, and courthouses. Municipalities use these grants to fund and maintain priority public services and local infrastructure projects.

Merritt is set to receive $31,863 this year.

“This is something we receive every year,” began Manager of Communications Will George. “It goes into general funds, there isn’t a particular project it gets allocated to.”

Grant calculations are determined under the Municipal Aid Act. Provincially owned properties are 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.

 

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