New policy would cap tax exemptions

Parksville city council continues a years-long process developing policy for which community groups should get tax exemptions

Parksville staff returned a report on a new permissive taxation policy proposed by council’s advisory committee which would introduce a cap in the total value of exemptions granted. Committee chair, councillor Al Greir presented the updated policy at council’s April 15 regular meeting but as the questions mounted council decided to send it to staff to review.

With a wide range of possibilities, Mayor Chris Burger asked for feedback from councillors on their big-picture hopes for the permissive taxation program.

“I’d like to see the cap done away with and just have tighter restrictions,” said Coun. Peter Morrison, agreeing with the report that a cap would make it too complicated.

“We have to make sure that the organizations that are affected by what ever type of eligibility we put down on paper doesn’t impact on the good work they do, because this is all about the underprivileged for most cases,” said Coun. Marc Lefebvre. “I’m thinking of the Salvation Army, I’m thinking of the Society of Organized Services —  what would the impact be if we cut them back by 25 per cent or 35 per cent, where would they have to cut back services they now provide.”

Coun. Al Grier, who has been vocal about needing ‘austerity measures’ said: “If you go back 40 years ago there were no services and no need for services.”

He said tax exemptions lead to “a revolving door if we continue to raise taxes because we’re supplying all these places with money or free taxes then of course it will create more people on bread lines and more people needing services . . . the bottom line is we’re trying to save some city dollars.”

The staff report breaks down the results in three possible ways, from the most liberal interpretation meaning all the current recipients would still be eligible and the 2013 total municipal exemptions would remain the same at $237,082 for all 24 organizations included in 2012.

A more strict interpretation would drop low-cost housing and senior facilities, which council had not specifically asked to keep, as well as recreation clubs which are primarily for members, not the general public.

That would drop the total to $134,990, well below the 1.55 per cent of total taxes ($180,000) cap called for in the proposed policy.

If churches who also provide donations to other organizations — supposedly putting their financial need in question — were also dropped, the total would drop to $99,890.

A third interpretation includes partial exemptions based on different categories, like 50 per cent for recreation, cultural or educational programs and 75 per cent for youth, senior and special need groups.

Based on the 2012 recipients this would result in $164,286 in annual exemptions.

The report and proposed policy were sent back to council’s advisory committee for further comment and will return to council at a later date.

Just Posted

A slide on best practices when reporting a suspected impaired driver that was presented to Parksville city council on June 7 by Margarita Bernard, a volunteer with MADD. The organization’s Report Impaired Drivers campaign involves the installation of informative signs within the City of Parksville. (Mandy Moraes photo)
MADD brings campaign to report impaired drivers to Parksville

Aim is to raise awareness that 911 should be called

Pam Bottomley (executive director), right and Sandy Hurley (president) of the Parksville Downtown Business Association visit the PQB News/VI Free Daily studio. (Peter McCully photo)
PQBeat: Downtown Parksville gears up for post-pandemic bounce back

Podcast: Hurley, Bottomley chat about what’s ahead for the PDBA

(Black Press file photo)
RCMP: Air ambulance called to Whiskey Creek after crash involving 2 motorbikes

Both riders taken to hospital with serious injuries

(File photo)
Crime report: Crooks busy pilfering bikes throughout Parksville Qualicum Beach area

Thefts among 295 complaints Oceanside RCMP deal with in one-week period

People watch a car burn during a riot following game 7 of the NHL Stanley Cup final in downtown Vancouver, B.C., in this June 15, 2011 photo. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Geoff Howe
10 years ago: Where were you during the 2011 Vancouver Stanley Cup Riots?

Smashed-in storefronts, looting, garbage can fires and overturned cars some of the damage remembered today

A still image from security camera video recorded June 8 shows an individual lighting trash on fire in the doorway of 19+ Cannabis Store on Victoria Crescent. RCMP and Nanaimo Fire Rescue are investigating numerous fires set in downtown Nanaimo in the past three months. (Photo submitted)
‘It’s out of control’: More than 20 fires set in downtown Nanaimo in past 3 months

Authorities asking business owners to keep dumpsters locked

(Black Press Media file)
Dirty money: Canadian currency the most germ-filled in the world, survey suggests

Canadian plastic currency was found to contain 209 bacterial cultures

(pixabay file shot)
B.C. ombudsperson labels youth confinement in jail ‘unsafe,’ calls for changes

Review states a maximum of 22 hours for youth, aged 12 from to 17, to be placed in solitary

Eleonore Alamillo-Laberge, 6, reads a book in Ottawa on Monday, June 12, 2017. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Sean Kilpatrick
Parents will need to fight ‘COVID learning slump’ over summer: B.C. literacy experts

Parents who play an active role in educating their children this summer can reverse the slump by nearly 80%, says Janet Mort

The border crossing on Highway 11 in Abbotsford heading south (file)
Western premiers call for clarity, timelines on international travel, reopening rules

Trudeau has called Thursday meeting, premiers say they expect to leave that meeting with a plan

The B.C. government’s vaccine booking website is busy processing second-dose appointments, with more than 76 per cent of adults having received a first dose. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
B.C.’s COVID-19 infections, hospitalizations stable for Tuesday

108 new confirmed cases, 139 in hospital, 39 in intensive care

Cowichan Tribes man Adrian Sylvester is worried that he was targetted by a trailer hitch thrown from a vehicle. (Facebook photo)
Cowichan Tribes man worried he was target of trailer hitch

Adrian Sylvester says no one has reported a missing hitch after one nearly hit him

Most Read