B.C. introduces property tax relief program for small businesses and charities

The B.C. government has introduced an interim program for small businesses that will provide property tax relief.

But the BC Liberals says the proposed solution is not what small businesses, local governments and many other stakeholders were asking for, which was ending the tax on unused airspace.

The new program will apply to small businesses and non-profits, as well as arts and culture organizations, that are struggling with high lease costs as a result of years of rapidly increasing property values.

“Years of an out-of-control real estate market have resulted in unexpected tax spikes for many small businesses that pay property taxes as part of their commercial leases,” Housing minister Selina Robinson said.

“People have been asking for help, and today we’re offering a way for local governments to provide that help. This new program empowers local governments to provide immediate relief to the small businesses and organizations most affected by skyrocketing property taxes in their communities.”

The legislation gives municipalities the power to exempt, by bylaw, a portion of the assessed value of those properties in a way that works for their community.

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