Bonus gas tax funds announced for B.C. municipalities

Additional $2.2 billion allocated through federal Gas Tax Fund

  • Apr. 15, 2019 11:00 a.m.

This year’s federal budget includes a one-time transfer of $2.2 billion through the Gas Tax Fund (GTF) to address short-term priorities in municipalities and First Nation communities. The GTF is a permanent source of funding to support infrastructure projects.

Courtenay’s expected GTF allocation for 2019/20 is $1,132,665 spread over two payments — slightly more than the previous year due to provincial population redistribution, the City says.

The one-time bonus is $1,119,960. The City expects to receive the first of two installments in July.

Council is in the process of deliberating the 2019 budget and Five-Year Financial Plan, and will determine how this additional revenue will be allocated, CAO David Allen said.

•The Comox Valley Regional District is in line to receive a $1,045,507 bonus payment for 2019/20, in addition to the GTF allocation of $1,029,453 in the federal tax agreement.

“Once we get a sense of what the allocations are, those are then distributed amongst the three electoral areas, and that’s driven based on (2016 Census) population,” said Kevin Douville, manager of financial planning.

As projects are brought forward, electoral directors will decide how the money is allocated.

The CVRD’s GTF allocation for 2018 was $1,045,507.

• The Town of Comox is set to receive a bonus payment of $657,246 for 2019/2020, in addition to the GTP allocation of $645,606.

Comox Mayor Russ Arnott said the bonus funds will be placed in the Town’s reserve funds, which is used to draw money for various infrastructure projects.

Going forward, they plan on working on bike lanes, roads and sidewalks and upgrading fiber optics within the municipality.

• The Village of Cumberland is looking to receive a $205,269 bonus payment, in addition to the allocated GTF of $213,100 for 2019/20.

According to CAO Sundance Topham, no decisions have been made at this time as to where the money will be used. Allocation of the funds is expected to be discussed by council after official documentation has been received from the Union of B.C. Municipalities.

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