Three non-profit organizations in Valemount were granted property tax exemptions for 2014.
The Legion, Curling Club and Lions Club applied and were all granted 100 per cent property tax exemption under the recently announced permissive tax exemption policy, which allows Council to support organizations within the community that further Council’s vision of Striving for a Vibrant and Balanced Community. The new policy recognizes the value to our community of the programs and services provided by many organizations.
Tax exemption for any organization means those amounts need to be covered by the rest of the tax base in the Village. Tax rates and bills are not yet known for 2014, but the report to Council noted the 2013 tax bill amounts: The Royal Canadian Legion’s tax bill was $3,844.50, Valemount Curling Club’s bill was $6,715.78, and Valemount Lions Club’s bill for 2013 was $996.72. Granting 100 per cent exemptions to these three organizations is estimated to raise residential taxes by $15 per $100,000 of assessed property value. That means if you owned a $100,000 house, your taxes would increase by approximately $15 next year, based on these organizations getting full exemptions. Mayor Andru McCracken noted the Curling Club getting its first tax bill in 2013 reduced taxes for the rest of the Village this year.
“The tax payers are using these services,” said Councillor Blanchette. “It’s not strangers coming in off the street using the clubs, it is all of us.”
“These are organizations that are fairly well used in the community,” said Councillor Salt. “They are putting in hours and hours of volunteer time, doing fund raising, trying to keep their doors open for the community, doing bursaries for the students, and then to have to try and come up with property taxes on top, it certainly is a burden.”
“I think it is a small drop in the bucket to be able to allow them to continue doing what they are doing,” noted Councillor Latimer.
Council voted unanimously to give 100 per cent exemption to all three organizations for 2014.
Under Section 224 of the Community Charter, municipalities can create policies to address tax exemption for non-profit organizations. Organizations in Valemount must apply annually and provide financial statements and information about the services provided, and the primary and any secondary uses of the properties in question. Council can decide to grant anywhere from zero to 100 per cent tax exemption if the organizations meet eligibility and application requirements.