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Changes to B.C.'s property tax framework  
 
The provincial government introduced temporary changes to B.C.'s property tax framework to provide financial support for businesses and local governments earlier today. Among the changes introduced, local governments will have the ability to borrow, interest-free, from their capital reserve funds and municipalities will be able to access school tax revenue collected for the Province until the end of the year. Read more 
 
Expanded eligibility for CERB 
 
The federal government has announced that it is expanding eligibility for the Canada Emergency Response Benefit (CERB) to include seasonal and part-time workers, such as volunteer firefighters. Seasonal workers, those who have exhausted employment insurance benefits, and those making less than $1,000 per month now qualify for the CERB. Read more 
 
2019 Gas Tax annual expenditure reporting  
 
Local Governments may now submit their 2019 Gas Tax Annual Expenditure Report through UBCM's online Program Information Management System (PIMS). All Local Governments are required to submit project and financial details for Gas Tax funded projects between January 1 and December 31, 2019. AER submission deadline is June 1, 2020, however, should you require an extension this year due to impacts of COVID-19, please contact us at gastax@ubcm.ca. For information on how to submit this year's report, please visit our website.
 
Modernizing land use planning update   
 
The B.C. Ministry of Forests, Lands, Natural Resource Operations and Rural Development has published two fact sheets on the Modernized Land Use Planning Initiative. The Ministry acknowledges local governments' important roles and perspectives in the process and commits to their involvement "early and on an ongoing basis".  The fact sheets provide background on the Modernizing Land Use Planning Process, including plans for collaboration with First Nations, local governments, stakeholders and the public. 
 
COVID-19 support service for BC Business    
 
To help B.C. businesses affected by the COVID-19 pandemic, the Province and the Government of Canada have partnered with Small Business BC (SBBC) to launch an online support service to answer pressing questions about the support available to businesses. The dedicated website will host announcements from industry and community partners, along with resources and tools to support B.C. businesses. A summary of all identified supports for B.C. businesses affected by COVID-19 will also be updated regularly. 
April 16, 2020
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