The City of Revelstoke is getting a substantial bonus this year.
Since 2014, the city has received annual grants from the federal gas tax fund. This year, Revelstoke will get an additional $372,424 on top of that.
The gas tax fund funnels a portion of diesel and gasoline sales from across Canada into a pool to fund municipal infrastructure projects.
It comes from an agreement between Canada-British Columbia – Union of BC Municipalities (UBCM), which replaced the former agreement that was created in 2005. The present gas tax fund will provide funding to local governments until 2024.
In addition to the bonus, the city will receive $372,801 this year, an increase of more than $300 from the year prior. The amount increases each year to a maximum of more than $400,000 in 2024.
Tania McCabe, director of finance, said the city does not have plans yet for the bonus. The money will most likely go into the city’s reserved funds until a decision is made.
In most cases, federal gas tax funds have to be used for specific purposes, such as capital projects. For example, in the past it was used to partly fund the Thomas Brook Project, where the city extended water and sewer lines to the Thomas Brooks neighbourhood.
In this year’s budget, the city has earmarked the payment of $372,801 to help pay for capital projects, such as Williamson Lake Campground upgrades, the splash park and city hall’s rehabilitation.
When the federal government announced its budget last month, Finance Minister Bill Morneau doubled the federal gas tax fund to $4.3 billion, up from $2.2 billion the year prior. The money is split between more than 3,600 communities.
The fund is part of the federal governments $190-billion spending program, which is one of the largest spending programs in Canadian history, to improve infrastructure across the country.