“The NEBC Resource Municipalities have been getting prepared for these negotiations since our inception,” states Fort St. John Mayor Lori Ackerman. “We have economists working on economic projections for Site C, LNG, mining, forestry and agriculture so we can understand the future impact on infrastructure and services that this unprecedented economic growth will have on our municipalities.”
The Fair Share agreement provides an annual provincial grant in lieu of access to the oil and gas tax base.
The current agreement ensures increases in relation to the annual growth of that property tax base.
This is referred to as indexing – the mechanism in which Peace Region municipalities receive benefits from a growing economy, similar to other forestry and mining municipalities that have the industrial tax base within their boundaries.
“All of our municipalities and Electoral Areas have faced the some issue for decades – being disconnected from support from the industry we service,” Fort Nelson Mayor Bill Streeper concluded. “We recently reached agreement with the province on a 22-year deal to share funding of our infrastructure costs and I offer my full support to the Peace Region municipalities and the Electoral Areas as they embark on negotiation for a permanent or long term resolution of this industrial property tax issue.”
In 2014, northeast B.C. received approximately $43 million from the Fair Share – Fort St. John receiving funds in the range of $21 million, according to Executive Director of the coalition Colin Griffith.