Finance & Infrastructure

Interim Property Tax Relief Legislation

The Province has announced a new interim business property tax relief program to provide an optional tool that would allow municipalities to address the escalating property values experienced by some small businesses and non-profits.  The interim program provides an alternative solution than that proposed by UBCM members through resolution 2019-B78.  UBCM President Maja Tait wrote Minister Robinson on February 28, 2020 indicating that members had recommended the establishment of a new commercial sub class that would provide for a split assessment.  Similar sentiments were expressed by metro mayors in a letter to the Minister on February 27th.

Employer Health Tax Impact on Local Government

UBCM surveyed local government financial officers in Aprill 2018 to assess the impact of the employer health tax (EHT) on local government. Based on input provided, it is evident that there will be a wide variance of impact on local governments, with 29% seeing net reductions in Medical Services Plan (MSP) related costs and 71% seeing cost increases. Taken as a whole, the survey respondents will see MSP related costs double between 2017 and 2020. We have prepared a report on the survey information.

Primer on Fossil Fuel Divestment

UBCM has released a study, Primer on Fossil Fuel Divestment, that considers divestment strategies in relation to the Municipal Pension Plan (MPP). The study was prepared in response to resolution 2015-B120, which sought information on fossil fuel related investments held by the MPP and the implications of divesting from these holdings. The study exceeds the resolution request by providing the range of fossil fuel related investments held by the MPP over several years, along with a background information on the MPP’s governance, administration and investment management. Also introduced is the potential of a Climate Action Plan as an alternative to divestment.

UBCM Select Committee on Local Government Finance

The UBCM Select Committee on Local Government Finance has issued its July 2013 report entitled Strong Fiscal Futures: A Blueprint for Strengthening BC Local Governments' Finance System.  This page provides background to the Committee as well as a link to the report and accompanying documents.

September 9, 2014 Letter from Minister Oakes to UBCM [PDF - 82 KB]

September 12 Letter from UBCM President Rhona Martin to Minister Oakes [PDF - 480 KB]

Future Infrastructure Programs

In Budget 2013, Canada unveiled the new Building Canada Plan, which includes a renewed Gas Tax Fund and Building Canada Fund.  This page provides a link to the survey, as well as information about the Budget commitments.

Expert Panel on Business Taxation

The Expert Panel on Business Taxation provided analysis and recommendations to the Province on business tax competitiveness. A component of the review looked at municipal property taxation of business, and UBCM prepared a Submission to the Expert Panel in June 2012. This page provides information about the Expert Panel and a link to the work the UBCM submitted to the panel and the panel's recommendations.

Auditor General for Local Government

The Auditor General for Local Government Act came into force April 25, 2012.  This page includes a link to the Act and to the website of the Auditor General for Local Government, as well as UBCM's Policy Paper and other related materials produced prior to the introduction of the legislation.

Major Industrial Property Taxation

A Major Industrial Properties Steering Committee, with membership from the Province, UBCM and the business community, was struck in 2010. The committee considered how the municipal taxation structure can support strong, healthy industry within strong, healthy communities. In addition, UBCM, in partnership with the Province, undertook a study that considered the impact that municipal taxation had on significant business decisions of major industrial enterprises. The impact study, along with a UBCM webinar on the topic of industrial taxation, are available on this page.

Fiscal Management

In 2011, UBCM, in partnership with the Local Government Management Association and the Government Finance Officers Association, produced a comment on Fiscal Management in British Columbia Municipalities. This page provides the impetus behind the project and report highlights, as well as a link to the full report.

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