By: Korie Marshall

Three non-profit societies in Valemount have applied for property tax exemption for 2015, and have been granted 75 per cent exemption.

Last year under a new policy for the Village, the Valemount Lions Club, Curling Club and Legion were all granted 100 per cent tax exemption for 2014, but each organization has to apply each year, and the decision is up to council to either grant a whole or partial exemption each year.

Churches and property owned by the Village, such as the senior housing in Valemount, is exempt from taxes, according to the Community Charter. In 2014, the total taxes the Village would have collected on the two senior housing complexes and four churches was $18,474.10, which includes payments the Village has to make to other agencies such as Regional District, Hospital and School taxes.

During discussion, Councillor Christine Latimer said we all have to understand that tax exemptions for any property are absorbed by the rest of the community. Mayor Andru McCracken noted that last year’s permissive exemptions for the three non-profits left a hole in the Village’s revenues. Chief Administrative Officer Anne Yanciw said although the office gets a number of complaints about taxes, there were no complaints specific to the new exemptions last year.

The total tax exempted for the three non-profit organizations’ properties last year was $13,931.43 ($9,502.52 for the Curling Club, $569.58 for the Lions Club and $3,859.33 for the Legion). Numbers for 2015 taxes may be different because of changes in individual property assessments and change in total property value in the municipality.