Campbell River council revokes non-profit groups’ tax exempt status

Council is expected to adopt the bylaw sometime within the next month

A handful of local charities and non-profit groups are about to take a big financial hit.

City tax exemptions for six non-profits are on the verge of being revoked in order to adhere to rules laid out in the provincial Community Charter.

“This has been in the Community Charter for awhile,” said Natalie Aalderink, the city’s finance manager, at a council meeting Sept. 18. “We went and got the interpretation of it (and) we got clarification from the province.”

What that means is property tax exemptions can only be granted if a charitable, philanthropic, or other not-for-profit owns the land it operates on.

Six local groups, which have in the past been given the tax exemption, do not fit the above criteria.

As a consequence, council gave first three readings last week to an amendment to the permissive tax exemption bylaw that will deny tax breaks to Habitat for Humanity’s ReStore, Total Change Ministries’ 88.7 Spirit FM Christian Music radio, Campbell River Family Services, Canadian Red Cross, Campbell River Seniors Society, and River City Players. Council also denied issuing new tax exemptions to the Campbell River Dragon Boat Society, Opportunities Career Services Society, and the Strathcona Regional District.

Aalderink explained that because those organizations don’t own their own buildings, the tax break truly goes to the property owner.

Coun. Ryan Mennie argued that the non-profit does benefit.

“Would it also not be fair to say that without the exemption…the owner has to recover those costs?” Mennie asked. “I’m assuming the owner would raise the rent to try and recover the costs of the tax exemption they’re not getting.”

Coun. Claire Moglove was concerned the city was pulling the rug out from under the societies involved, which had not been notified prior to the council meeting.

“It’s going to be a significant hit to those particular groups,” Moglove said. “Is there…a grant-in-aid or something like that, where these groups would be able to apply for a grant similar in amount, so that they won’t be so negatively impacted?”

Aalderink replied that the groups could indeed apply for grants with the city, in place of tax exemptions.

Coun. Andy Adams acknowledged the difficulty in turning down tax exemption requests.

“A very difficult report to bring forward,” Adams said. “It’s never pleasant to bring forward a report denying a permissive tax exemption, particularly when they’ve had it up until this point.”

Meanwhile, one new tax exemption was recommended by the city’s finance committee for Willow Point Supportive Living Society, a non-profit providing affordable housing for independent seniors. The society is requesting a tax break on property purchased in December 2009.

The list of tax exemptions is not yet final. Council is expected to adopt the bylaw sometime within the next month.

 

 

Just Posted

Human remains found near Campbell River

Human remains were found in a rural area outside Campbell River, RCMP… Continue reading

BC Hydro warns of upcoming Canyon View Trail closures

BC Hydro is advising of two rounds of Canyon View Trail closures… Continue reading

‘You just don’t know when someone has a challenge’

Wounded Warriors Run BC spreads awareness of mental health, hopes to raise $100,000

SUV rolls down Campbell River embankment

A white SUV rolled down an embankment on Evergreen Road near the… Continue reading

Duncan family says care home switched mom’s cat with robot cat

Staff alleged to have said they were taking cat for bath, then replaced her with robotic stuffed toy

VIDEO: B.C. superfans soak in 2018 PyeongChang Olympics

Trio, including two from the Okanagan, have been cheering on Summerland Olympian Kripps among others in Korea

Suspect and Mountie bitten by police dog during arrest near Nanaimo

Two suspects were arrested in connection with a stolen pickup truck in Cassidy on Thursday evening

B.C. ski cross racer wins Olympic gold

Kelowna’s Kelsey Serwa wins the gold medal in thrilling fashion in PyeongChang

New charges against ex-Trump campaign associates

More charges were laid Thursday against President Donald Trump’s former campaign chairman and his business associate

Man accused in death of Winnipeg teen Tina Fontaine not guilty

Raymond Cormier was accused of killing Indigenous 15-year-old and dumping her body in the Red River

Okanagan real estate agents brace for speculation tax impact

“There’s a real potential for a domino effect to hurt the market in Kelowna.”

Alberta drops B.C. wine boycott, Notley says Horgan ‘blinked’ on pipeline

B.C. government announces court reference on proposed diluted bitumen restriction

UPDATE: Northern Health dealing with lack of 121 registered nurses

Auditor General says officials need to improve internal management, track effect of new policies

B.C. businesses say new health tax will raise prices for consumers

Province announced that MSP will be gone by 2020

Most Read