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Princeton gets millions of dollars in tax relief, following provincial announcement

Changes to Disaster Financial Assistance program are a game changer
Princeton Mayor Spencer Coyne meets with Public Safety Minister Mike Farnworth. Photo Andrea DeMeer

Communities devastated by flood in November 2021 are feeling relief following an announcement from the province about changes to the Disaster Financial Assistance (DFA) program.

The Town of Princeton expects at least a $2 million break, according to James Graham, director of finance.

“It’s a good day,” said Mayor Spencer Coyne.

“I believe the province heard us. They heard the municipalities. They heard that we are not capable of being able to fund the amount of money that this disaster has cost us. They are going to help us through that,” he said.

The municipality already has claims for $20 million and that’s likely to increase, Graham added.

Previously the DFA promised up to 80 per cent funding for disasters, leaving municipalities and others qualified for help to pay the balance.

The province now says municipalities will only pay between five and 10 per cent of the total cost.

“This is a big deal,” said Boundary Similkameen MLA Roly Russell. “I’m really excited about this announcement for our local governments.”

Russell noted that small rural communities do not have the tax base to support the contribution previously required.

“We’ve all had a very consistent message, and our MLA has been consistent in passing our message along for us and other communities,” said Coyne.

The province also announced that municipalities won’t have to wait to receive funding for emergency situations.

According to Graham, Princeton needed to advance $1.4 million to a contractor, in order to restore water service to the north side of town, following the flood.

Upfront funding will now be provided, according to a press release.

Farms and businesses can also benefit from the new regulations, said Russell.

Related: $11.9 million in provincial flood relief for Princeton

Related: It would have cost $30 million to prevent the Princeton flood

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Photo Andrea DeMeer

Andrea DeMeer

About the Author: Andrea DeMeer

Andrea is the publisher of the Similkameen Spotlight.
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