This week Victoria city council will consider which organizations to approve for property tax exemptions between 2020 and 2022.
Tax exemptions may be applied to non-profit organizations that provide specific approved services, such as places of worship, social services, and arts and cultural spaces.
In 2013 the City set a cap on approved exemptions to not exceed 1.6 per cent of property taxes; in 2019 this would total $2,235,204.
“Providing permissive exemptions does not reduce the revenue received by the City,” the staff report reads. “It simply redistributes the property tax levy to other tax payers.”
For this year’s decision the city received 130 applicants from 104 organizations, a majority of which were renewal applications slated for approval. While initially, approved organizations can get a 100 per cent exemption, this can be phased out to 50 per cent over 10 years.
A new property considered for approval is the Salvation Army at 943 Fullerton Rd., which falls under the “place of worship” category; approval would exempt the group from $4,269 in municipal taxes and $6,406 in total taxes.
Five organizations are set for denial, including the Together Against Poverty Society (TAPS) at 828 View St., RealHomes Management Corporation, the Victoria Cool Aid Society’s property at 959 Balmoral Road, the White Eagle Polish Association and the Fire Fighter’s Burn Fund due to various requirements that they did not meet in their application.
Three properties owned by the City of Victoria, including a portion of the James Bay Library at 355 Menzies St., a portion of the Quadra Village Community Centre at 950 Kings Rd., and a leased portion of an office building at 1803 Douglas St. are also recommended for approval.
Lastly, the City will also consider what to do with the Royal Canadian Legion Trafalgar Pro Patria Branch at 411 Gorge Road East. In early June, the last fully operational region in Greater Victoria was told its annual property taxes jumped from $70,000 to $104,231.78, a difference that would essentially shut the Legion down.
In Late June, the City voted to issue the Legion a one-time grant $36,000 to help alleviate the difference. For 2020-2022, the City will have to choose if it will fund all or part of the property tax, since the Legion is divided into two classes: business and recreational. Some municipalities across Canada pay for both.
All tax exemption decisions must be made by Oct. 31 at the latest to meet budget timelines.
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