Changes to B.C.’s property tax framework

The provincial government introduced temporary changes to B.C.’s property tax framework to provide financial support for businesses and local governments earlier today. Among the changes introduced, local governments will have the ability to borrow, interest-free, from their capital reserve funds and municipalities will be able to access school tax revenue collected for the Province until the end of the year.

If a local government chooses to hold onto the school property tax, it must first be used to pay other taxing authorities, including regional districts.

In response to today’s announcement, UBCM president Mayor Maja Tait said, “(l)ocal governments across B.C. are working hard to support the implementation of COVID-19 orders, while ensuring residents have access to the services they need in these challenging times. The measures announced today provide additional relief to small business and will free up funds for local government. UBCM will monitor the impact of these measures on the state of local governments finances, and work with the Province to ensure that local governments have the resources to sustain their communities.”

In advance of today’s announcement, UBCM met with provincial staff to share the findings of our outreach to 35 local governments in BC to gauge the financial impacts of COVID-19. 

UBCM invites feedback from local government Chief Financial Officers on how the delayed school property tax payment may assist local government liquidity on an interim basis. Feedback may be provided to Jared Wright, Director of Advocacy.

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