Clubs may get a tax break from City of Parksville

If passed, permissive tax policy changes would mean no property taxes for curling club

City council has asked staff to bring back changes to the permissive tax policy that would effectively give the curling club tax-free status.

An issue that has dogged council for years may get some form of closure at an upcoming meeting if council endorses the policy changes staff suggested on Monday night.

Even Coun. Al Greir, who has fought to reduce the amount of taxes forgiven in the city, was behind this latest measure, which would give up to 100 per cent tax exemptions to organizations that spend more than 30 per cent of their revenues on operating and maintenance costs. The curling club, according to a city staff report, spends 38 per cent of its revenue on operating and maintenance costs.

Greir gave council a bit of a history lesson, explaining that Parksville was “the highest in the whole area when it came to permissive taxes.” Work by committees, councillors and staff over the past two years has whittled the amount of taxes not collected by the city through permissive tax policy to $198,000 from $235,000. At one time on the life of this debate, the previous council adopted a policy to cap the amount of what can be forgiven.

“We have some room if everyone wants to give the curling club a break,” said Greir.

According to a report prepared by Debbie Comis, the city’s director of administrative services: “Organizations such as the curling club are in a unique position as they are responsible for the operation and maintenance of an older building which can be a financial challenge to maintain.”

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