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This Act is current to November 1, 2017
See the Tables of Legislative Changes for this Act’s legislative history, including any changes not in force.

School Act

[RSBC 1996] CHAPTER 412

Part 8 — Finance

Division 1 — Provincial Funding

Definitions

106.1  In this division:

"board" includes a francophone education authority;

"educational program" includes a francophone educational program;

"number of students" means the number of full time or equivalent of full time students;

"student" means a person enrolled in an educational program provided by a board to whom instruction in the educational program is required to be provided free of charge under section 82 (1) or (2.1) but does not include a person who is enrolled in a Provincial resource program.

Provincial funding for boards

106.2  On or before March 15 of each year, the minister must establish and announce the amount of Provincial funding to be paid to boards in the next fiscal year for the delivery and support of educational programs.

Operating grants to boards

106.3  (1) The minister must determine the amount of the operating grant to each board from the Provincial funding based on the following:

(a) by multiplying

(i) a per student funding amount determined by the minister, and

(ii) the number of students, estimated by the board under subsection (2) and approved by the minister under subsection (3) or estimated by the minister under subsection (4), who may be enrolled in educational programs provided by that board;

(b) other formulas and amounts determined by the minister and announced to the boards by March 15 of each year.

(2) A board must submit to the minister on or before February 15 of each year an estimate of the number of students who may be enrolled in educational programs provided by the board in the next school year.

(3) The minister may approve or reject the estimate submitted under subsection (2).

(4) If the minister rejects the estimate submitted under subsection (2), the minister must estimate the number of students who may be enrolled in educational programs provided by that board in the next school year.

(5) For the purposes of determining the amount of the operating grant under subsection (1) (a), the minister may

(a) classify students under a classification system established by the minister,

(b) estimate the number of students in each class referred to in paragraph (a) who may be enrolled in educational programs provided by the board,

(c) establish a maximum number of students for a class referred to in paragraph (a) that the minister will include in the determination of the number of students for that class under subsection (1), and

(d) establish different per student funding amounts for the different classes of students referred to in paragraph (a).

(6) The minister may amend an operating grant to a board, for all or part of the fiscal year,

(a) if the number of students enrolled in educational programs provided by the board is different than the estimate approved under subsection (3) or the estimate under subsection (4) or (5),

(b) by amending the per student funding amount under subsection (1) (a) (i) or (5) (d), or

(c) if, in the opinion of the minister, the operating grant must be amended.

(7) Subsections (2) and (3) do not apply for the purposes of the 2002-2003 fiscal year.

Targeted grant

106.4  (1) The minister may, in respect of an operating grant, provide a direction to a board specifying

(a) an amount or a percentage of the operating grant to the board that is a targeted grant for the fiscal year,

(b) the manner in which that board must budget, spend and account for the targeted grant for the fiscal year,

(c) programs or services the board must provide in respect of the targeted grant and to whom the board must provide those programs or services, and

(d) a minimum amount or percentage of the targeted grant that the board must budget, spend and account for in respect of a program or service referred to in paragraph (c).

(2) The minister may vary a direction provided to a board under this section.

Repealed

107-108  [Repealed 2002-53-36.]

Repealed

109  [Repealed B.C. Reg. 169/97.]

Division 2 — Establishment of Board Budgets

Financial information

110  (1) On or before March 15 of each year, a board must submit to the minister

(a) the board's estimate of the debt service surplus or deficit it will experience in that fiscal year, and

(b) any other information that the minister requests respecting revenue or other financial matters.

(2) On or before March 30 of each year, the minister must prepare, approve and provide to each board the estimate of the board's debt service expenses for the next fiscal year.

(3) [Repealed 2002-53-37.]

Preparation of annual budget

111  (1) In this section:

"estimated expenditures" means the estimated expenditures plus any operating deficit that the board must fund in the fiscal year;

"estimated revenues" means the estimated revenues plus appropriated operating reserves.

(2) The board must prepare an annual budget in the form and containing the content specified by the minister.

(3) Subject to subsection (4), estimated expenditures in the annual budget must not exceed estimated revenues.

(4) The estimated expenditures in the annual budget, other than the debt service expenses estimate referred to in section 110, may exceed the estimated revenues if the board has held a referendum under section 112 and the referendum approved the amount in excess of the estimated revenues.

Referendum

112  (1) A board may, by resolution passed at a public meeting of the board at least 2 weeks before the referendum is held, authorize the holding of a referendum to obtain the approval of the electors for any money that the board wishes to raise for the next fiscal year by residential taxes under section 137.

(2) Money raised under subsection (1) may be used by a board to provide new programs, to enhance existing programs for additional activities for students or for local capital project initiatives but must not be used to fund operating deficits.

(3) If a board passes a resolution to hold a referendum, the referendum must be held on the third Saturday in April or on another date prescribed by the Lieutenant Governor in Council.

(4) A board may, by resolution, withdraw a referendum authorized under subsection (1) at any time up to the date on which the referendum is to be held.

(5) The referendum ballot must be in the form set out in the Schedule and, subject to the regulations, a board must place a separate question on the ballot for each of the following categories for which it is seeking approval for funding:

(a) new, and enhanced, programs;

(b) additional activities for students;

(c) local capital initiatives in addition to those recognized by the Province

and a board must not place any additional questions on the ballot.

(6) A board must arrange for the holding of the referendum and may enter into an agreement with one or more councils of municipalities or boards of regional districts to conduct the referendum on the board's behalf within all or part of the school district.

(7) At least once a week for the 2 weeks immediately before the date for holding the referendum, the board must publish in a newspaper of general circulation in the school district a copy of the referendum ballot and any other information prescribed by the Lieutenant Governor in Council.

(8) A person is entitled to vote on a referendum in a school district if, at the time the referendum is held, that person

(a) is entitled to vote in an election of school trustees in the school district, or

(b) would have been entitled to vote in an election of school trustees in the school district had the person not filed a declaration under section 166.14 (5) in respect of that election.

(9) If a majority of the persons who cast valid ballots vote in favour of raising the money that is the subject of a question on the referendum, money approved by that question must form part of the board's budget for the next fiscal year.

(10) The referendum approval is for one year only and any money approved by the referendum must be entirely raised by residential taxation within the district in the calendar year in which the referendum is held.

(11) No grants are payable under the Home Owner Grant Act with respect to taxes that a board raises as a result of a referendum.

(12) A vote under this section must be conducted in accordance with the regulations.

(13) No elector may vote in more than one municipality or rural area in the same school district in the same referendum.

Referendum bylaw

112.1  (1) If a board has held a referendum approving the raising of money under section 112, the board must adopt a bylaw, on or before April 27 of that year, that sets out

(a) the amount, if any, of taxes to be raised within the school district in that calendar year as a result of the referendum that approved that amount,

(b) the apportionment of the amount approved by referendum to the constituent parts of the school district so that the tax to be raised in each of those constituent parts bears the same ratio to the total school referendum taxes to be raised in that school district as the net taxable value of the residential land and improvements in each constituent part of the school district bears to the total net taxable value of residential land and improvements in the whole of that school district, and

(c) the rate that is to be applied to the net taxable value of residential land and improvements in the school district so as to raise the amount approved by referendum.

(2) The board, immediately after adopting the bylaw referred to in subsection (1), must send a certified copy of that adopted bylaw to

(a) the council of each municipality in the school district, and

(b) the Surveyor of Taxes in respect of the rural area of the school district.

Adoption of budget

113  (1) A board, by bylaw,

(a) must adopt an annual budget on or before June 30 of each year for the next fiscal year, and

(b) may amend the annual budget adopted under paragraph (a).

(2) If an operating grant to a board is amended under section 106.3 (6) or a grant is withheld or reduced under section 117 (1), the minister may order that

(a) the board, by bylaw, must amend its annual budget, and

(b) the board must send a certified copy of the amended annual budget to the minister within 60 days of the order of the minister.

(3) At the request of the minister, the board must send to the minister a certified copy of its annual budget.

Division 3 — Grants

Payment of grants

114  (1) In each fiscal year the minister must pay to the board of each school district the operating grant plus the debt service grant for that board.

(2) If an operating grant is amended under section 106.3 (6), the minister must vary the amount of the operating grant payable to the board under subsection (1).

(3) In respect of the payment of an operating grant or a debt service grant under this section, the minister

(a) must pay, at a minimum, an instalment in each month of the fiscal year to the board of each school district, and

(b) may determine the manner of payment.

(4) If, at the end of a fiscal year, the minister has paid a board more than the sum of the operating grant plus the debt service grant for that board, the minister may deduct the overpayment from the amount the minister must pay in the next fiscal year under subsection (1).

Special purpose grants

115  (1) The minister may pay to a board of a school district in addition to all other grants payable under this Act

(a) a special grant, or

(b) a grant for the operation of a Provincial resource program.

(2) If the minister considers that a capital project should include accommodation for a Provincial resource program or any other special program or activity designated by the minister,  the minister may pay all or part of the capital cost of that capital project.

Annual facility grant

115.1  The minister may pay to a board an annual facility grant to be used for annual facility projects.

Learning improvement fund

115.2  (1) In this section, "learning improvement fund" means an appropriation provided by the Legislature for the purpose of this section.

(2) In addition to any other grants payable under this Act, the minister, in each fiscal year, must provide grants from the learning improvement fund to boards for the purpose of enabling the boards to address learning improvement issues.

(3) Before making the first grant under subsection (2) in any fiscal year, the minister must

(a) consult with the British Columbia Teachers' Federation respecting the allocation among boards of grants from the learning improvement fund, and

(b) notify each board of the amount of the grant the minister estimates will be provided to the board.

(4) Before making an estimate referred to in subsection (3), the minister must consider the following:

(a) total student enrolment in each district;

(b) the number of students in each district who are diagnosed with special needs;

(c) the location of schools, communities and services in each district.

(5) Despite subsection (2), the minister may refuse to provide a grant to a board in a fiscal year if the minister considers that

(a) the board has not complied with a regulation made under section 168.01, or

(b) the spending plan, if any, required by a regulation made under section 168.01 is not in the public interest.

(6) A board that receives a grant from the minister under subsection (2) must use the grant in accordance with the regulations.

Support of Provincial schools

116  Subject to an appropriation being made under another Act, the minister must pay all expenditures incurred in establishing, maintaining and operating Provincial schools.

Conditions of grant payment

117  (1) The minister may withhold or reduce a grant payable to a board under this Act, other than a debt service grant, if

(a) the duties of the secretary treasurer of the board are not being discharged satisfactorily,

(b) the board has not conducted its affairs in accordance with this Act and the regulations and the orders of the minister,

(c) each school building in the school district, together with its equipment, has not been established or maintained to the satisfaction of the minister,

(d) the board has not transmitted in a timely fashion, or within the time provided by this Act and the regulations or by the orders of the minister, all reports, statements or returns required by the minister,

(e) the operating expenses of a board have been reduced during a strike or lockout as defined in the Labour Relations Code,

(f) the board has not budgeted, spent or accounted for a targeted grant under section 106.4 in accordance with the directions provided to it in respect of that grant by the minister, or

(g) the board violates a provision of an agreement made under section 75 (4.1).

(2) Without limiting section 106.4 (1) (b), the minister may order that any debt service expenses incurred by a board as a result of the withholding of a grant under subsection (1) must be paid from one or more of the payments to the board under section 114.

(3) If a board fails to provide the money necessary to meet the payment of principal or interest on securities issued by it under this Act, or the payments of principal and interest referred to in section 154, the Lieutenant Governor in Council may direct that the amount necessary to meet the payments be deducted from sums due by way of grant under this Act other than a debt service grant, and may direct that amount to be applied in payment of the principal and interest in the manner the Lieutenant Governor in Council directs.

Division 4 — Taxation

Grants in place of taxes

118  (1) A municipality must apply in each taxation year to the following for the school tax portion of a grant in place of taxes for the taxation year in respect of land and improvements:

(a) an owner who is identified by the British Columbia Assessment Authority as

(i) exempt from paying school taxes levied under this Act, and

(ii) authorized to pay a grant in place of taxes;

(b) an owner who is exempt from paying school taxes levied under this Act and has paid a grant in place of taxes to the municipality in the previous taxation year.

(2) On or before February 1 in each year, a municipality must pay to the minister of finance any amount that has been received by the municipality in the preceding calendar year as the school tax portion of a grant in place of taxes.

(3) If a municipality does not apply for the school tax portion of a grant in accordance with subsection (1) and in the opinion of the Surveyor of Taxes the municipality would have received the grant if the municipality had applied for it, the Surveyor of Taxes may disallow all or part of the administration fee to which the municipality would otherwise be entitled under section 124 (10).

Provincial levy of tax on land and improvements

119  (1) In order to raise revenue to finance the Provincial funding and the debt service expenses of boards, the Province may levy a school tax equal to the net taxable value of the land and improvements multiplied by the appropriate rate determined under subsection (3).

(2) The minister of finance must determine the total amount to be raised by school taxes under this Act on land and improvements from each class of property in all school districts.

(3) On or before May 4 in each year, the Lieutenant Governor in Council must determine rates to be applied to the net taxable value of all land and improvements in each school district in order to raise the amount referred to in subsection (2).

(4) The rates to be determined under subsection (3) may differ

(a) in respect of each school district, and

(b) for different parts of the school district.

(5) The net taxable value of land and improvements must be determined under the Assessment Act and this Act.

(6) On or before May 10 in each year, the minister of revenue must send to the collector in each municipality a notice setting out

(a) the net taxable values of land and improvements in the municipality as certified under the Assessment Act,

(b) the amount to be raised by school taxes under this Act in that municipality,

(b.1) the total amount of credits to which owners in that municipality are entitled under sections 131.2 [provincial industrial property tax credit] and 131.3 [provincial farm land tax credit],

(b.2) the net amount to be raised by school taxes under this Act in that municipality after the deduction of the amount referred to in paragraph (b.1), and

(c) the rates determined by the Lieutenant Governor in Council under subsection (3).

(7) If a municipality is contained within the boundaries of more than one school district, the notice under subsection (6) must set out, for each part of the municipality, the net taxable values, the amount to be raised and the rates that are applicable to each school district within which that part of the municipality is contained.

(8) [Repealed 2003-23-79.]

Variable tax rate system for taxation

120  (1) In this section:

"property class" means a class of property prescribed by the Lieutenant Governor in Council under section 19 of the Assessment Act;

"variable tax rate system" means a system under which individual tax rates are determined and imposed for each property class.

(2) The Lieutenant Governor in Council must adopt a variable tax rate system for the purpose of determining tax rates for land and improvements under section 119 (3).

Adjustments

121  If the net taxable values of land and improvements are adjusted, or a supplementary assessment roll is prepared under the Assessment Act in respect of which section 228 (5) [taxation of Crown land used by others] of the Community Charter applies, amounts to be raised by taxation in each school district may be adjusted in the current taxation year or a subsequent taxation year in the manner directed by the minister of revenue.

Liability for taxation

122  An owner of land and improvements must pay school taxes and school referendum taxes levied under this Act, and the taxes must be collected in the manner provided for in this Act.

Application of other Acts for rural areas

123  (1) Subject to this Act and the Assessment Act, the Taxation (Rural Area) Act applies to the assessment, levy, collection and recovery of taxes imposed under this Act in a rural area of a school district, and to the addition of penalties and interest on those taxes when delinquent, in the same manner as taxes imposed under the Taxation (Rural Area) Act.

(2) All taxes levied under this Act in a rural area of a school district are, for all purposes of the Taxation (Rural Area) Act, deemed to be Provincial taxes imposed and assessed under that Act and must, on collection or recovery, be accounted for as such and be paid into the consolidated revenue fund.

Collection of school taxes by municipality

124  (1) In this section, "school taxes" does not include any penalty or interest that has been charged on the school taxes.

(2) In each taxation year, each municipality collecting taxes on behalf of the government under this Act must pay to the minister of finance

(a) instalments prescribed by regulation of the Lieutenant Governor in Council, and

(b) subject to subsections (6), (7) and (9), on the fifth business day after the calendar year end of each year the balance of all taxes imposed under this Act, whether or not they have been collected.

(3) Despite subsection (2) (b), a municipality may, on the fifth business day after the calendar year end of each taxation year and on the last day of each succeeding month until all school taxes imposed under this Act for that taxation year have been collected, pay to the minister of finance the amount of school taxes that it collects by each of those dates.

(4) If a municipality elects to comply with subsection (3) instead of subsection (2) (b), it must, in addition to the school taxes it pays to the minister of finance, pay to the minister of finance all penalties and interest that it collects in respect of those taxes.

(5) A regulation under subsection (2) (a) may prescribe the amounts, the manner and the times at which instalments are to be paid by a municipality, and the amounts, manner and times may be different for each municipality collecting school taxes under this Act.

(6) If a municipality satisfies the minister of revenue that it is unable to collect school taxes imposed under this Act in respect of a taxation year on

(a) land

(i) the fee of which is held by the government or by some person or organization on behalf of the government, and

(ii) that is held or occupied other than by or on behalf of the government, and

(b) improvements on land described in paragraph (a),

the minister of revenue may write off the amount not collected, whether or not the municipality has forwarded that amount under subsection (2), and, if the amount is written off, a corresponding adjustment must be made, in the manner directed by the minister of revenue in the amount of school tax to be paid by the municipality in respect of that or a subsequent taxation year.

(7) Subsection (6) applies also in respect of land held in trust for an Indian band and occupied, other than in an official capacity, by a person who is not an Indian.

(8) The write off of an amount under subsection (6) does not relieve the holder or occupier from liability for school tax imposed under this Act or prejudice the right of the government to collect from the holder or occupier the amount written off.

(9) A municipality may deduct, in the manner and at the times prescribed in the regulations, from instalments of taxes payable under subsection (2) the amount of home owner grants certified under section 12 (1) of the Home Owner Grant Act.

(10) Subject to sections 118 (3) and 125 (5), a municipality may deduct, in the manner and at the times directed by the minister of revenue, from school taxes payable under this section for the current taxation year or a subsequent taxation year an administration fee prescribed by the Lieutenant Governor in Council.

(11) The prescribed fee referred to in subsection (10) may be different with respect to different classes of property.

Interest on unpaid taxes

125  (1) In this section, "unpaid taxes" means any grants in place of taxes that a municipality is required to pay to the minister of finance under section 118 and any school taxes, penalties and interest that a municipality is required to pay to the minister of finance under section 124 that have not been paid as required by this Act or by the regulations.

(2) A municipality must pay interest on its unpaid taxes to the minister of finance.

(3) Interest payable under subsection (2) must be calculated at the rate prescribed by the Lieutenant Governor in Council and must be payable on each amount of school taxes, penalties, interest or grants in place of taxes included in the unpaid taxes from the date on which the amount was to be paid to the minister of finance under this Act to the date that the amount is received by the minister of finance.

(4) The minister of revenue may give notice to a municipality of

(a) the municipality's unpaid taxes,

(b) any interest that is payable on the unpaid taxes under this section,

(c) the date by which payment of the unpaid taxes and the interest is required, and

(d) the powers of the Surveyor of Taxes under subsection (5) if that payment is not made as required.

(5) If a municipality to which a notice is sent under subsection (4) does not pay the unpaid taxes and the interest referred to in the notice by the date required in the notice, the Surveyor of Taxes may disallow all or part of the administration fee to which the municipality would otherwise be entitled under section 124 (10).

Inspection

126  (1) For the purpose of ensuring compliance with this Part and the regulations related to Divisions 3 and 4 of this Part, the Surveyor of Taxes or a person authorized in writing by the Surveyor of Taxes may

(a) at any reasonable time enter the premises where one or more of the records of a municipality are kept,

(b) request production of records or things that may be relevant to the inspection, and

(c) inspect records or things relevant to the inspection.

(2) Subsection (1) (a) does not authorize entry to a room actually used as a dwelling without the consent of the occupier.

(3) The person conducting an inspection under this section is entitled to free access to all of the records of every description of the municipality referred to in subsection (1) (a) that touch on any of the matters in respect of which an inspection may be conducted under this section.

(4) A person who removes records or things under subsection (1) (c) must return them within a reasonable time.

Application of other Acts for municipalities

127  (1) Subject to this Act and the Assessment Act, the following Acts apply to the assessment, levy, collection and recovery of taxes imposed under this Act in a municipality within a school district, and to the addition of penalties and interest on taxes that are in arrears or are delinquent, in the same manner as taxes imposed under those Acts:

(a) Community Charter;

(b) Local Government Act;

(c) Vancouver Charter.

(2) All school taxes when levied must, on collection by a municipality, be accounted for as school taxes.

(3) All school referendum taxes when levied must, on collection by a municipality, be accounted for as school referendum taxes.

General provisions on collection of school taxes

128  (1) The municipality and the Surveyor of Taxes must act as the agent

(a) for the board, for the collection of school referendum taxes, and

(b) for the Province, for the collection of school taxes.

(2) The collector of each municipality or the Surveyor of Taxes must prepare and mail a notice, setting out the tax payable under this Act, to each person named on the real property tax roll or assessment roll as an assessed owner in the municipality or rural area, if any, contained in the school district.

(3) The notice under subsection (2) forms part of the taxation notices under the Community Charter, the Local Government Act, the Vancouver Charter or the Taxation (Rural Area) Act, as the case may be, and separate notices must not be prepared and rendered solely in respect of taxes for school purposes.

(4) The notice under subsection (2) must set out

(a) the total amount of school taxes levied on each property by the Province,

(a.1) the amount of any credit to which the assessed owner is entitled under section 131.2 [provincial industrial property tax credit] of this Act,

(a.2) the amount of any credit to which the assessed owner is entitled under section 131.3 [provincial farm land tax credit] of this Act,

(b) the net amount of school taxes payable by the assessed owner after deduction of

(i) any grant to which the assessed owner may be eligible under the Home Owner Grant Act, or

(ii) the amounts of the credits referred to in paragraphs (a.1) and (a.2) of this subsection, and

(c) the total amount of school referendum taxes levied by a board.

(5) Despite subsections (2), (3) and (4), the Surveyor of Taxes may, with the written agreement of a taxpayer,

(a) send a taxation notice to the taxpayer other than by mail, and

(b) provide the information required to be contained in a taxation notice in a form other than a form prescribed by the Lieutenant Governor in Council, including provision by means of electronic information storage and electronic data transmission.

(5.1) Despite subsection (2), the collector of each municipality may provide a notice to a taxpayer other than by mail, in accordance with any applicable legislation.

(6) Subject to sections 124 (10) and 137 (2), a municipality must not, directly or indirectly, charge a fee to a taxpayer or the government to cover the cost of

(a) assessment and collection of taxes under this Act,

(b) interest on money paid to a board in advance of collection of taxes, or

(c) losses that have occurred through the failure to collect taxes.

Taxation of school property

129  (1) In this section, "property" means property as defined in the Assessment Act.

(2) Despite any other enactment, property in which a board has an ownership interest is exempt from taxation if it is

(a) vacant,

(b) used in whole or in part for a school,

(c) used in whole or in part for a purpose ancillary to the operation of a school,

(d) used in whole or in part by the board as a residence, if the residence is available exclusively to the following individuals and the individuals with whom they reside:

(i) students attending a school within the board's school district;

(ii) employees of the board,

(e) leased by the board to an authority within the meaning of the Independent School Act and used in whole or in part for an independent school including any purpose ancillary to the operation of the independent school,

(e.1) leased by the board to a francophone education authority and used in whole or in part for a francophone school including any purpose ancillary to the operation of the francophone school, or

(f) exempted from tax by a bylaw under section 224 [general authority for permissive exemptions] of the Community Charter by the council of the municipality in which the property is located.

(3) Unless exempted from taxation under subsection (2), property in which a board has an ownership interest is subject to taxation in the name of the board.

(4) Nothing in subsection (2) exempts a property referred to in that subsection from a fee or charge under the Community Charter or the Local Government Act.

(5) If property referred to in subsection (3) is subject to taxation in the name of the board,

(a) the taxation imposed is a debt of the board due and payable to the taxing authority but is not subject to penalty additions or interest, and

(b) the property is not subject to tax sale.

(6) Property in which a board has an ownership interest is,

(a) if mortgaged under section 104, liable to be taken in execution by the mortgagee, or

(b) in any other case, not liable to be taken in execution.

(7) If property that is not exempted from taxation under section 224 [general authority for permissive exemptions] of the Community Charter is leased to a board and used in whole or in part for a school, including any purpose ancillary to the operation of the school, any taxes payable in respect of that property must be paid by the owner of the property and the board is not liable for the payment of any of those taxes.

(8) Subsection (7) does not apply to fees and charges under the Community Charter or the Local Government Act.

Agricultural land reserve exemption

130  (1) Subject to this section, 50% of the assessed value of a parcel of land is exempt from taxation under this Act if

(a) the parcel of land is classified as a farm under the Assessment Act, or

(b) the parcel of land is in an agricultural land reserve that is established under the Agricultural Land Commission Act, is subject to sections 18 to 20 and 28 of that Act and is used in one or more of the ways set out in subsection (2) of this section.

(2) The parcel of land referred to in subsection (1) (b) must be

(a) vacant and unused,

(b) used for a farm or residential purpose, or

(c) used for a purpose prescribed by the Lieutenant Governor in Council.

(3) If only a portion of a parcel meets the requirements for exemption under this section, only that portion is eligible for the exemption.

(4) Subsection (1) (b) does not apply to a parcel of land that

(a) is classified in a property class, as defined in section 120 (1), that is prescribed by the Lieutenant Governor in Council for the purposes of this section, or

(b) is used for a purpose prescribed by the Lieutenant Governor in Council.

Other exemptions

131  (1) Subject to this Act, property that is in a municipal area of a school district and that is exempt from property taxation under the Community Charter or the Vancouver Charter, as the case may be, is also exempt from taxation under this Act.

(2) Land is exempt from taxation under this Act if the land is included in a timber lease or timber licence issued under an enactment of British Columbia or of Canada

(a) for which a stumpage, as defined in the Forest Act, has not been reserved or not made available to the government, or

(b) which is held for the specific purpose of cutting and removing timber, and for no other purpose while so held.

(3) Subject to subsection (4), if property in a rural area of a school district is exempt from taxation under the Taxation (Rural Area) Act, the property is also exempt from taxation under this Act to the extent of the exemption provided under the Taxation (Rural Area) Act.

(4) The following are subject to taxation under this Act:

(a) a dwelling referred to in section 15 (1) (f) or (f.1) of the Taxation (Rural Area) Act;

(b) farm improvements, other than a dwelling referred to in paragraph (a), that are exclusively used to operate a farm but only to the extent that the aggregate of their assessed values exceeds the greater of the following:

(i) 87.5% of the aggregated assessed value;

(ii) $50 000.

(5) Despite subsection (1), property that is exempted under section 225 [partnering and other exemptions] of the Community Charter or section 396 [tax exemptions under partnering agreement] of the Local Government Act in relation to

(a) a partnering agreement under the applicable Act,

(b) a golf course, or

(c) a cemetery, mausoleum or columbarium,

is not exempt from taxation under this Act unless exempted under subsection (6) or (8) of this section.

(6) The Lieutenant Governor in Council may make regulations exempting property referred to in subsection (5) from taxation under this Act.

(7) Regulations under subsection (6) may

(a) provide an exemption for all or part of the property that is exempted under the Community Charter or the Local Government Act,

(b) provide an exemption for all or part of the term of the exemption under the Community Charter or the Local Government Act, and

(c) be different for different classes or uses of property, different classes of owner and different classes of partnering agreements.

(8) The Lieutenant Governor in Council may, by order in relation to property referred to in subsection (5) that is specified in the order, exempt all or part of the property from taxation under this Act and may provide the exemption for all or part of the term of the exemption under the Community Charter or the Local Government Act.

(9) Despite subsection (1), property that is exempted under

(a) section 226 [revitalization tax exemptions] of the Community Charter, or

(b) section 396E [revitalization tax exemptions] of the Vancouver Charter

is not exempted from taxation under this Act.

School tax exemptions and refunds for approved and eligible alternative energy power projects

131.1  (1) In this section, "power project" and "supply" have the same meaning as in section 1 of the Hydro and Power Authority Act.

(2) The Lieutenant Governor in Council may

(a) establish and approve one or more classes of alternative energy power projects for the purposes of this section, and

(b) in respect of one or more power projects or types of power projects, within a class of alternative energy power projects approved under paragraph (a), make regulations providing for

(i) exemptions from school taxes, and

(ii) refunds of school taxes paid.

(3) A regulation providing an exemption from school taxes under subsection (2) (b) (i) may, as the Lieutenant Governor in Council considers advisable,

(a) designate one or more power projects or types of power projects, within a class of alternative energy power projects approved under subsection (2) (a), as eligible for the exemption,

(b) limit the exemption to newer power projects, and for that purpose establish what constitutes a newer power project,

(c) limit the exemption to specified types of land, improvements or both, that are used, or will be used at a future time, for or in connection with the generation or supply of power,

(d) establish the conditions on which and prescribe the manner in which the exemption may be provided, and

(e) provide differently for different power projects or types of power projects.

(4) The Lieutenant Governor in Council may make a regulation providing an exemption under this section retroactive to the extent necessary to apply for the purposes of the 2005 taxation year.

(5) A regulation may not be made under subsection (4) after December 31, 2005.

(6) A regulation providing a refund of school taxes under subsection (2) (b) (ii) may, as the Lieutenant Governor in Council considers advisable,

(a) designate one or more power projects or types of power projects, within a class of alternative energy power projects approved under subsection (2) (a), in respect of which the refund may be provided,

(b) limit the refund to newer power projects, and for that purpose establish what constitutes a newer power project,

(c) limit the refund to school taxes paid by the taxpayer in respect of specified types of land, improvements or both,

(d) establish the conditions on which and prescribe the manner in which the refund may be provided to the taxpayer, and

(e) provide differently for different power projects or types of power projects.

(7) School tax refunds provided under this section must be paid out of the consolidated revenue fund.

Provincial industrial property tax credit

131.2  (1) In this section:

"class 4 property" means property that is assessed as property in the class 4 property class under the Assessment Act;

"class 5 property" means property that is assessed as property in the class 5 property class under the Assessment Act.

(2) For the 2009 and 2010 taxation years, an owner of class 4 property or class 5 property is entitled to a credit equal to 50% of the school taxes levied in the taxation year on the class 4 property or class 5 property.

(2.1) For the 2011, 2012 and 2013 taxation years, an owner of class 4 property or class 5 property is entitled to a credit equal to 60% of the school taxes levied in the taxation year on the class 4 property or class 5 property.

(2.2) For the 2014 and subsequent taxation years, an owner of class 4 property is entitled to a credit equal to 60% of the school taxes levied in the taxation year on the class 4 property.

(3) For the purpose of calculating the school taxes payable under this Act by an owner entitled to a credit under subsection (2), (2.1) or (2.2), the collector for the municipality or the Surveyor of Taxes must deduct the amount of the credit from the school taxes otherwise payable under this Act by the owner.

Provincial farm land tax credit

131.3  (1) In this section, "class 9 property" means land that is assessed as property in the class 9 property class under the Assessment Act.

(2) For the 2011 and subsequent taxation years, an owner of class 9 property is entitled to a credit equal to 50% of the school taxes levied in the taxation year on the class 9 property.

(3) For the purpose of calculating the school taxes payable under this Act by an owner entitled to a credit under subsection (2), the collector for the municipality or the Surveyor of Taxes must deduct the amount of the credit from the school taxes otherwise payable under this Act by the owner.

Corporations

132  Corporations must be assessed and taxed as other persons under this Act.

Assessor may require information in rural area

133  A person liable to assessment and taxation under this Act in respect of land and improvements in a rural area of a school district must, within 21 days after receiving a request from the assessor, make and file a return in the form approved by the assessor, detailing the nature, amount and value of all land and improvements in respect of which the person is liable to assessment.

Collector to apply Taxation (Rural Area) Act

134  The Surveyor of Taxes must apply the Taxation (Rural Area) Act to the taxation of property under this Act in rural areas, and in so doing must tax the property on a supplementary assessment roll prepared under the Assessment Act at the same rates of taxation as are charged against property assessed for school purposes in that school district for the corresponding period under this Act.

Appeal

135  Every person assessed in a rural area of a school district under this Act has the same rights of appeal on the person's real property assessment as are provided for by the Taxation (Rural Area) Act and Assessment Act.

Assessment to repay borrowed money

136  (1) If a school district that includes a rural area is abolished and is not included within the limits of another school district, all money borrowed under this Act by the board on behalf of the rural area and remaining unpaid must continue to constitute a charge on all the taxable property in the rural area formerly comprised in that school district.

(2) The yearly amount of money necessary to provide principal repayments and interest payments on debt incurred as determined by the minister of finance must be assessed, levied and collected in respect of the property in the rural area formerly comprised in that school district, and all money so collected must be applied by the minister of finance to principal repayments and interest payments on debt incurred to the persons entitled to it.

School referendum taxes

137  (1) In order to raise revenue approved by a referendum under section 112, a board must levy a school referendum tax on residential land and improvements in the district.

(2) The amounts of school referendum taxes levied by the board and requisitioned in the bylaw adopted under section 113 in respect of each constituent part of the school district are deemed to have been requisitioned on and from January 1 of the calendar year for which the requisition is made, and the amounts must be paid to the board by the municipality or municipalities or, in the case of rural areas, by the minister of finance, on or before September 1 of that year.

(3) A municipality must pay the amounts required of it under subsection (2) from the general revenue fund of the municipality, and the school referendum taxes collected under this Act in respect of the municipality must be paid into its general revenue fund.

(4) The minister of finance must pay amounts required with respect to a rural area under subsection (2) out of the consolidated revenue fund, and the school referendum taxes collected under this Act in respect of the rural area must be paid into the consolidated revenue fund.

(5) If the net taxable values of residential land and improvements for each part of a school district as certified under the Assessment Act are adjusted, the amount of the levy under subsection (1) is deemed to be adjusted to equal the product of the rate determined under section 113 (2) (c) multiplied by the adjusted net taxable value of the residential land and improvements determined under the Assessment Act and this Act.

(6) Sections 119 to 136, other than sections 124 (10), 131.2 and 131.3, apply to the assessment, levy, collection, recovery and payment of school referendum taxes levied by a board.

Division 5 — General

Regulations

138  (1) The Lieutenant Governor in Council may make regulations, including regulations

(a) [Repealed 2002-53-52.]

(b) amending the Schedule,

(c) governing referendums under section 112,

(d) governing the conduct of a vote under section 112, including, without limiting this, making

(i) Part 4 [Assent Voting] of the Local Government Act or, in the case of School District No. 39 (Vancouver), Part II [Assent Voting] of the Vancouver Charter, and

(ii) provisions of the Local Elections Campaign Financing Act in relation to assent voting,

apply to the extent the Lieutenant Governor in Council considers necessary, and

(e) providing for the manner of accounting for amounts payable by municipalities to the minister of finance under this Act.

(2) [Repealed 2002-53-52.]

Short term borrowing

139  (1) Subject to the regulations, a board may borrow to meet current operating expenses.

(2) Any interest earned as the result of borrowing under subsection (1) must be used first to offset the debt service expenses of that borrowing.

(3) The board must pay out of the operating grant that is paid to the board in a fiscal year, any interest charges that are payable in that fiscal year as the result of borrowings under subsection (1).

First charges

140  The amounts included in the expenditures for the payment of interest and principal in respect of debts lawfully incurred by a board constitute a first charge on the money available for those expenditures and are not subject to reduction by agreement or arbitration.

Division 6 — Capital Plans and Money Bylaws

Capital projects

141  (1) Subject to the orders of the minister, a board may

(a) engage in a tendering process related to any capital expenditure by the board, and

(b) spend money

(i) for a local capital project,

(ii) for an annual facility project, and

(iii) for a capital plan project, with the approval of the minister.

(2) Subject to the provisions of this Act respecting a local capital project and a capital plan project, a board may spend money on a joint capital project.

Capital plan

142  (1) A board must, when required by the minister, prepare and submit to the minister a capital plan.

(2) If one or more community plans have been or are being prepared in respect of areas that include the whole or any part of a school district, the board of the school district must, when preparing a capital plan under subsection (1) and with a view to rendering that capital plan consistent with those community plans,

(a) review and consider each of those community plans, and

(b) consult in respect of those community plans

(i) with each local government and local trust committee that has prepared or is preparing those plans, or

(ii) in the case of a community plan adopted by a local government before January 1, 1978 that applies, in whole or in part, to land within a local trust area, with each local government and local trust committee that has the authority to amend the community plan in respect of areas that include the whole or any part of the school district.

(3) A capital plan prepared under this section must

(a) be in a form specified by the minister,

(b) set out the plans of the board respecting the development of proposed school sites and facilities and the renovation of existing school facilities in its school district,

(c) set out particulars of all capital projects that the board proposes to undertake during a period specified by the minister other than

(i) local capital projects that are not joint capital projects, and

(ii) annual facility projects,

(d) set out an estimate of the financial resources required for the proposed capital projects set out in the capital plan, and

(e) set out any other information the minister requires.

(4) Before submitting a capital plan to the minister for approval, a board must, by resolution, approve the proposed capital plan.

(5) The minister may approve, approve with modifications or reject a capital plan submitted to the minister under this section.

Capital bylaws

143  (1) If the minister approves a capital plan or approves a capital plan with modification, the board must prepare a capital bylaw.

(2) The capital bylaw

(a) must be in a form specified by the minister,

(b) must include provisions that the minister considers necessary or that are prescribed by the Lieutenant Governor in Council,

(c) is not valid unless it is adopted by a majority of the board,

(d) may, subject to paragraphs (a) and (b), provide for the issue of securities to raise the net sums required after payment of expenses of issue and sale of the securities, and

(e) may delegate to a trustee, the secretary treasurer or an employee of the board the authority to settle the terms and conditions of securities referred to in paragraph (d).

(3) A board may not amend a capital bylaw except as approved in writing by the minister.

Borrowing for capital expenditures

144  (1) A board must not borrow or spend money in respect of a capital plan expenditure unless

(a) the board has adopted a capital bylaw in accordance with section 143, and

(b) the minister has in writing authorized the borrowing or expenditure.

(2) An approval of a capital plan by the minister under section 142 (5) is not an authorization for the purpose of subsection (1) (b).

(3) A board that is authorized under subsection (1) (b) to borrow or to make an expenditure must, if the minister so directs, spend on the capital plan project such part of any surplus referred to in section 156 (10) as the minister specifies.

(4) A board that borrows money in respect of a capital plan project approved under subsection (1) must, if the minister so directs, apply to the discharge of the loan any part of a surplus referred to in section 156 (10) that the minister specifies.

(5) Despite subsection (1), a board may borrow or spend money in respect of a capital expenditure if

(a) the borrowing and expenditure is required because of an emergency, and

(b) the minister approves

(i) the capital project for which the capital expenditure is to be incurred, and

(ii) all borrowings and expenditures for that capital project.

(6) A board must not borrow money for capital expenditures unless the minister has, in writing, authorized the borrowing.

Sinking fund debentures

145  (1) Despite Division 7, a bylaw of a board providing for the borrowing of money by the issue of debentures may authorize the issue of sinking fund debentures for a term not exceeding 30 years from the date of the issue of the debentures.

(2) If a bylaw authorizes the issue of sinking fund debentures under subsection (1),

(a) the board must set aside in each fiscal year during the term of the debentures, a sum that, together with interest compounded annually on it at a rate determined by the minister of finance, would be sufficient to provide a sinking fund for

(i) the full repayment of the debentures at their maturity, or

(ii) with the approval of the minister of finance, the partial repayment of the debentures at their maturity, and

(b) the amount of interest payable in each fiscal year and the amount to be set aside in each fiscal year for the sinking fund must be set out in the bylaw.

(3) For the purposes of this Act, the amount to be set aside for the sinking fund in any fiscal year is deemed to be an amount or instalment of principal falling due or becoming payable in the fiscal year, and this Act must be construed accordingly.

(4) The amount to be set aside in each fiscal year for the sinking fund must be paid on or before the date specified in the bylaw to the minister of finance, who must

(a) act as trustee for the board,

(b) establish appropriate sinking fund trustee accounts, and

(c) invest the amount and interest earnings on it in investments permitted for a trust fund under section 40 (4) of the Financial Administration Act.

Issue of debentures to certain special purchasers

146  (1) If debentures issued by a board are to be sold to a purchaser designated by the Lieutenant Governor in Council as a purchaser with respect to whom this subsection applies, the board may

(a) issue the debentures in coupon form or in fully registered form and in the denominations required by their purchasers, and

(b) exchange the debentures for other debentures of the same issue for an equal aggregate principal amount on terms and conditions determined by the board.

(2) This section is retroactive to the extent necessary to give it full force and effect in respect of bylaws passed by a board before March 26, 1965 providing for the issue and sale of debentures and in respect of the debentures, and, with the approval of the Lieutenant Governor in Council, the board may amend the bylaw accordingly.

(3) Section 149 applies to debentures issued in exchange for other debentures of the same issue.

(4) Despite the other provisions of this Act, debentures issued by a board under this Act to be sold to the minister of finance may contain any terms and conditions agreed to by the board and the minister of finance.

Division 7 — Debentures

Issue of debentures

147  (1) Debentures authorized by a bylaw may be issued all at one time or, if it is anticipated that the proposed expenditures for the purposes set out in the bylaw will extend over a period of time and it is considered undesirable to have large portions of the money in hand unused and uninvested, or for other sufficient causes, the debentures may, with the approval of the minister, be issued in instalments in amounts, not exceeding in the aggregate the total principal amount authorized by the bylaw, and at times as the exigency of the case demands.

(2) Debentures may be issued up to the principal amount authorized by the bylaw referred to in subsection (1), even if the net sum realized after payment of discount, commission, brokerage, exchange and other expenses with respect to the issue and sale of the debentures is greater or less than the amount required for the purposes specified in the bylaw.

(3) If the amount so realized is greater than the amount required for the purposes set out in the bylaw, the excess may, with the approval of the minister, be spent by the board to meet other capital expenditures or be applied to retirement of the debt so created.

(4) If the amount so realized is less than the amount required for the purpose set out in the bylaw, the deficiency may be raised in the manner directed by the Lieutenant Governor in Council, who may direct that the deficiency be raised by a further issue of debentures.

(5) Unless otherwise authorized by the Lieutenant Governor in Council, the debentures must be dated no more than 2 years after the final passing of the bylaw authorizing their issue.

Signature and corporate seal

148  (1) Debentures issued under this Act by a board must have the board's corporate seal affixed and be signed by the chair and by the secretary treasurer of the board.

(2) The signature of the chair on the debentures may be printed or otherwise mechanically reproduced.

(3) The debentures may be signed at the date of the debentures or at any time after that by the chair and the secretary treasurer of the board holding office at the date of the passage of the bylaw authorizing the issue of the debentures.

(4) The debentures are binding on the board despite a change in the offices of the chair or the secretary treasurer between the time the signatures are affixed and the date of delivery of the debentures.

Debentures guaranteed

149  (1) The Lieutenant Governor in Council may guarantee payment of the principal and interest of debentures issued by a board, and the form and manner of the guarantee must be as approved by the Lieutenant Governor in Council.

(2) The guarantee must be signed by the minister of finance or another officer designated by the Lieutenant Governor in Council and, on being signed,

(a) the government is liable for payment of the principal and interest of the debentures,

(b) the Lieutenant Governor in Council is authorized to make arrangements to supply the money necessary to fulfill the requirements of the guarantee and to advance that amount out of the consolidated revenue fund, and

(c) in the hands of a holder of the debentures, a guarantee so signed is conclusive evidence that this section has been complied with.

Registration of debentures and transfers

150  (1) A debenture issued by a board may contain or have endorsed on it a provision to the following effect:

This debenture, or an interest in it, is not, after a certificate of ownership has been endorsed on it by the secretary treasurer of the board, transferable, except by entry by the secretary treasurer or his or her deputy in the debenture registry book of the Board of Education at the .......................................... of ...................................... .

(2) On the application of the owner of a debenture endorsed in accordance with subsection (1) or of an interest in that debenture, the secretary treasurer or a person authorized by the board must endorse on the debenture a certificate of ownership, and must enter in a book, to be called the debenture registry book,

(a) a copy of the certificate and of every certificate that is subsequently given, and

(b) a memorandum of every transfer of the debenture.

(3) A certificate of ownership must not be endorsed on a debenture except by the written authority of the person last entered as the owner of it, or of that person's executor or administrator, or of the attorney representing the person, executor or administrator, which authority must be retained and filed by the secretary treasurer.

(4) After a certificate of ownership has been endorsed, the debenture is transferable only by entry by the secretary treasurer in the debenture registry book, as and when a transfer of the debenture is authorized by the then owner of it or by that person's executor or administrator, or the attorney representing any of them.

(5) On the written request of the person named as owner in the certificate of ownership endorsed on a debenture, or of that person's executor or administrator, or of the attorney of any of them, the secretary treasurer may cancel and remove the certificate of ownership and by that constitute the security a debenture payable to bearer and transferable by delivery.

(6) When a debenture issued by a board is held by the minister of finance, the board may by resolution authorize the security registrar in the ministry of the minister of finance to act as deputy of the secretary treasurer of the board for the purpose of registering in the debenture registry book of the board the ownership of the debenture by the minister of finance for the government or by the minister of finance as trustee for any of the several accounts administered by him or her and of endorsing on the debenture a certificate of that ownership.

(7) A registration or endorsement under subsection (6) is of the same effect as if made by the secretary treasurer of the board.

Validity of debentures

151  When debentures have been issued by a board under a bylaw that has not been quashed by a court and the interest on them that has fallen due has been paid for the period of one year by the board, the bylaw and the debentures issued under it, or so much of them as may be unpaid, are valid and binding on the board and the owner electors of the school district and on all parties concerned.

Issue of duplicate debenture

152  (1) If a debenture is lost, stolen or destroyed and

(a) notice of the loss, theft or destruction is given to the board, and

(b) neither the debenture nor any of its coupons has been presented for payment

the board may, on application accompanied by proof of the facts satisfactory to it, after the expiration of 6 months from the receipt of the notice replace the debenture with a duplicate debenture with its coupons attached.

(2) The duplicate must be printed in a manner distinguishing it from the original debenture.

(3) The applicant must pay the costs of printing and deliver to the board a bond or policy of a guarantee or insurance company, carrying on business in British Columbia and approved by the board, in the amount of the debenture and interest indemnifying the board and its paying agents against loss or damage.

(4) This section applies to debentures lost, stolen or destroyed before as well as after the coming into force of this section.

Provincial repayments to board

153  (1) The amount payable for interest and instalment of principal in any fiscal year in respect of debentures issued under a bylaw passed under this Act must be included in the board's estimates of expenses for that fiscal year.

(2) The amount paid by the government to a board under subsection (1) must be applied by the board to payment of the interest and instalments of principal falling due in the fiscal year, and for no other purpose.

(3) Failing an appropriation of the Legislature to provide the amounts to be paid by the government under this section, that amount is a charge on and must be paid out of the consolidated revenue fund.

Repayment of debentures

154  (1) The amount necessary to be levied to raise in each year the sums required to meet the portion of principal and interest on the debentures issued under a bylaw, other than the amount to be paid by the government under this Act, must be apportioned between the constituent parts of the school district, as provided in this Act.

(2) The Surveyor of Taxes and each municipality must, on the request of the board, raise annually by taxation and levy in the rural area and in the municipalities respectively, as part of the expenses of the board, the respective amounts apportioned under subsection (1) to the rural area and to the municipality or municipalities included in the school district.

(3) Every board must

(a) provide as part of its expenses the sums required annually to pay interest and principal falling due on debentures issued, before September 1, 1989, by a municipality or by the board of a rural area,

(b) pay annually the amounts attributable to each municipality in the school district as are necessary to pay the amounts of principal and interest payable by each municipal corporation in respect of debentures issued by it, and

(c) provide for payment of the principal and interest in respect of debentures issued, before September 1, 1989, by the board of a rural area in the school district.

Division 8 — Accounts and Audits

Repealed

155  [Repealed 2002-53-58.]

Accounting practices

156  (1) Subject to this section, a board must

(a) maintain budgetary control over expenditures,

(b) in accordance with the orders of the minister,

(i) account and keep accounting records for funds, and

(ii) prepare and submit to the minister financial reports and statements, in the form, with the information and at the time required by the minister, and

(c) designate specific funds in accordance with the requirements specified by the minister.

(2) Funds received by a board as proceeds of the issue and sale of debentures authorized under this Act must be placed in special purpose accounts, and may be spent only for the purposes approved by the minister and for which they were provided.

(3) [Repealed 2004-17-20.]

(4) When directed to do so by the minister, a board must establish a special purpose account

(a) for a purpose specified by the minister, and

(b) in accordance with the terms of the special purpose account determined by the minister.

(5) A board that establishes a special purpose account under subsection (4) must spend and account for the money in the special purpose account in accordance with

(a) the terms of the special purpose account, and

(b) the directions of the minister.

(6) Except for a debt service surplus, every surplus accruing in respect of operating expenses of a board may be retained as an unappropriated operating reserve of the board.

(7) to (9) [Repealed 2004-17-20.]

(10) A surplus in respect of a capital plan project may be spent only

(a) on capital expenditures, and

(b) with the minister's approval.

(11) For purposes of this section, proceeds of the issue and sale of debentures are deemed to include premiums and accrued interest on them to the date of settlement, and interest earned in respect of a fund is deemed part of the fund.

(12) A board must not incur a deficit of any kind unless the board

(a) has the approval of the minister, or

(b) meets criteria prescribed by order of the minister.

(13) [Repealed 2002-53-59.]

Financial statements

157  (1) The board must cause to be prepared each fiscal year by the secretary treasurer or other person authorized by it, financial statements of the school district respecting the preceding fiscal year.

(2) The financial statements required under subsection (1) must be prepared on or before September 15 of each year, in accordance with

(a) subject to paragraph (b), generally accepted accounting principles, and

(b) the directions of the minister.

(3) The financial statements may include separate statements of special activities of the board so long as the items of account of a controlling nature appear in the statements referred to in subsection (2).

(4) The financial statements referred to in subsection (2) must be signed by the chair of the board and the secretary treasurer, and must be published for distribution to the public before December 31 together with the auditor's report submitted to the board under section 161 (1) (d).

(5) The secretary treasurer must, not later than September 30 in each year, forward to the minister a copy of the financial statements together with the auditor's report.

Financial information

157.1  Without limiting section 81, at the times and in the form required by the minister, a board must submit to the minister financial information necessary for the purpose of incorporating the financial information into the financial reports of the government reporting entity.

Appointment of auditor

158  (1) Unless the Auditor General is appointed in accordance with the Auditor General Act as the auditor of the board of a school district, the board of the school district must appoint an auditor to audit the accounts of the board.

(2) The auditor appointed by the board must be a person who is a member or a partnership whose partners are members in good standing of the Chartered Professional Accountants of Canada or the Organization of Chartered Professional Accountants of British Columbia.

(3) If a board fails or neglects to appoint an auditor and the Auditor General is not appointed in accordance with the Auditor General Act, the minister may on one month's notice to the board appoint an auditor.

(4) The board must pay the auditor's remuneration.

(5) Sections 159 and 160 do not apply if the auditor of the board of a school district is the Auditor General appointed in accordance with the Auditor General Act.

Rescission of auditor's appointment

159  (1) The secretary treasurer of each board must promptly notify, in writing, the auditor and the minister of an appointment made under section 158 (1) and of the rescission of the appointment.

(2) If an auditor's appointment is rescinded, the auditor may, within one month of notification of the rescission, appeal the rescission to the minister, who may confirm or set aside the rescission.

(3) An appeal under subsection (2) must be in writing and a copy of the written appeal must be filed by the auditor with the secretary treasurer.

(4) The board must not appoint another auditor until the time allowed for an appeal by the auditor has elapsed or, if an appeal has been made, until the appeal has been dealt with by the minister.

(5) The rescission of the appointment of an auditor is not effective until a successor has been appointed.

Minister may remove auditor

160  (1) If the minister believes an auditor has acted in a negligent manner, the minister may require the board to rescind the appointment and appoint another auditor.

(2) An auditor whose appointment is rescinded under subsection (1) may appeal within 10 days against the order of the minister to the Lieutenant Governor in Council, who may confirm or set aside the order of the minister.

Duties of auditor

161  (1) In addition to any terms of an auditor's appointment, the auditor

(a) must make an examination that will enable the auditor to report to the board as required under paragraph (d),

(b) has a right of access at all times to every record of the board other than a student record or a record referred to in paragraph (d) of the definition of "student record",

(c) may require from trustees or officers or employees of the board and from any other persons any information or explanation necessary to complete the audit, and

(d) must submit a report to the board respecting the annual financial statements referred to in section 157.

(2) The auditor must report to the board any disbursement, expenditure, liability or other transaction that exceeds the authority of the board under this or any other enactment.

(3) In addition to the examination and reports required by this section, the minister or the board may at any time require further examinations and reports from the auditor that are considered necessary, and the auditor on his or her own initiative may make any further examinations or reports considered advisable.

(4) The auditor must forward to the minister a copy of every report made by the auditor to the board or to an official of the board.

Auditor to report irregularities

162  (1) The auditor must report in writing to the board and the minister

(a) any expenditure that has not been recorded by the board in accordance with the requirements imposed under section 156 (1) (b),

(b) any irregularity respecting the assets, liabilities, accounts, funds or financial obligations of the board,

(c) the name of any person that the auditor considers responsible for an irregularity referred to in paragraph (b), and

(d) any sum that ought to have been but was not brought into account.

(2) On application by a person named by the auditor in a report under subsection (1), the auditor must state in writing his or her reasons for that part of the report concerning the named person.

(3) When the board receives a report under subsection (1), it must promptly bring the matter to the attention of the appropriate police authorities and may commence proceedings to recover any loss or damage.

Unauthorized expenditures

163  (1) If the auditor considers that an expenditure is not authorized by any enactment, the auditor must report the unauthorized expenditure to the board and any other person considered appropriate.

(2) A person who believes or has reason to believe that a proposed expenditure is not authorized by an enactment and who authorizes or permits the expenditure is, on proof that the expenditure is not authorized by an enactment, guilty of an offence.

Duty to assist auditor

164  Every trustee and every officer or employee of the board must make available all records required by the auditor, and must give the auditor every reasonable assistance and furnish the information and explanations concerning the affairs of the board that the auditor considers necessary to complete the audit.

Auditor's power to obtain records

165  (1) For the purposes of an audit under this Act, the auditor may, in writing, require any person holding or accountable for records, money or securities

(a) to produce the records, money or securities, and

(b) to appear before the auditor and make and sign a declaration as to the accuracy of the records so produced.

(2) A person who neglects or refuses to comply with the auditor's requirements under subsection (1) commits an offence.

(3) A person who makes or signs a declaration under subsection (1), knowing it to be false, commits an offence.

(4) The auditor must not, without the approval of the board or an order of a court, remove any records, money or securities from the office of the board or other place where they are kept.

(5) An auditor who contravenes subsection (4) commits an offence.

Elector may object

166  (1) An elector of the school district may deliver to the auditor a written objection respecting any item of account or other matter relating to an audit so long as the objection is delivered within 3 months after the publication of the auditor's final report.

(2) On receipt of an objection under subsection (1), the auditor must notify the elector and the board of a time and place for dealing with the objection.

(3) This Part must not be construed to prevent an elector, or a group of electors, from exercising any right to take action for recovery on behalf of the school district.

Contents | Part 1 | Part 2 | Part 3 | Part 4 | Part 5 | Part 6 | Part 6.1 | Part 7 | Part 8 | Part 8.1 | Part 9 | Schedule