Whoops! district keeps other people’s money for better part of a decade

Trent Ernst, Editor
 
Each year, the District collects Grants in Lieu of property taxation from the Crown, as the Federal and Provincial government doesn’t pay taxes on property they own within the District. For example: the RCMP building. 
 
Instead, according to District of Tumbler Ridge CFO Candie Laporte, they pay a Grant in Lieu “which is basically an equivalent amount as our tax.”
 
And like taxes, says Laporte, this is not all collected for the District. “Part of that comes to us, but part goes to other people, like the Regional District, the Regional Hospital, The BC Assessment Authority and the Municipal Finance Authority.”
 
However, this wasn’t happening, and hadn’t happened properly since 1987. 
 
According to Laporte, in 2004, someone noticed this, and distributed those funds in arrears for 1987–2003, but that was the last time these were paid out. 
 
Which mean, says Laporte, the District still owes these funds dating back to 2004. 
 
While this amounts to between $5000 and $10,000 depending on the year, it adds up to $76,873 in unexpected expenditures recorded in the 2012 Financial statements. 
 
Laporte says that the process certainly wasn’t what it should have been. “In the past, it wasn’t segregated. From now on, I will be coding any Payment in Lieu properly, so we can segregate what we owe, and so it doesn’t go into District revenue. 
 
“We found an error, and we’re doing our best to fix it and move forward.”