The Ontario town of Innisfil is the first municipality in Canada to accept Bitcoin as an option to pay property taxes. The Innisfil Council voted to approve a partnership with Coinberry who will provide the service of converting the crypto to Canadian dollars. A one year pilot project, the new payment option should be ready in April when many residents pay their second installment of property taxes.
Innisfil has a population of 36 500 and used to be predominantly rural, but growth in nearer areas has led to more residential development in the town. Mayor Lynn Dollin said: “We are proud to be first in taking this bold step by offering this new, exciting payment option to our residents. By getting into this now, we are making sure our municipality is ahead of the game, and signalling to the world that we truly are a future-ready and innovative community”.
Once the project starts, residents will see the new payment option. Other cryptocurrency options like Ethereum, Litecoin, Bitcoin Cash, and Ripple could be added in the future.
Forward Thinking Leaders Will Reap The Rewards Of “New Money”
The residents can then access the town’s digital wallet with Coinberry Pay. This is Coinberry’s crypto payment solution for “merchants, charities, municipalities and individuals looking to accept cryptocurrency payments, donations and tips with no exposure to cryptocurrency price volatility and instantaneous no-fee withdrawals of Canadian dollars”. The funds will be processed and converted to Canadian dollars which will be transferred to the town.
“Leaders from all levels of government who are first to recognize the benefits of the new money economy will be the first to reap the rewards,” said Andrei Poliakov, Coinberry CEO and Co-founder. “We are extremely pleased at achieving a milestone in the history of adoption of cryptocurrency in Canada.”
Innisfil has a history of looking for innovative solutions. In 2016, the town reached out to Uber to help find a solution to public transport needs. The town wanted affordable and reliable transportation. Together, they designed a tax-subsidized ride sharing program named Innisfil Transit. Residents can enjoy flat fare rides to popular destinations across the district. In addition, there is a $5 discount offered to any rides beginning or ending anywhere else in Innisfil.
The town estimates that Innisfil Transit saves them $8 million each year based on the cost of implementing a public transit accessible to every household.