As a curler, member and volunteer for the Parksville Curling Club, I continue to struggle to understand why Parksville city council continues with this permissive taxation exemption policy.
It is my understanding that the expectation was for many more tax dollars to come into the city coffers, but ‘at what expense? ‘was obviously not taken into consideration. There are now very few of these designated organizations who are required to pay taxes like the PV Curling Club. What is so different between curling, lawn bowling, hockey or for that matter any other non-profit organization that provides a service to the community.
Parksville Curling Club is a registered non-profit organization with 1.5 paid positions and many hard-working volunteers. We were approached by the RDN in 2002 about leasing the arena for curling which helped the referendum to be passed for the new Oceanside Place. During these past years, there was no indication of property taxes being assessed and we have operated the facility at no cost to the taxpayers. However, if we find that we cannot meet the rising cost of the taxation from Parksville and have to close our doors, we are told it would cost over $700,000 to demolish, and who will pay that bill? We were told by council to raise our fees to cover the taxes, we have done that to keep ahead of rising costs for hydro, gas, water, sewer and ongoing maintenance.
Parksville Curling Club has hosted more than five provincial events over the past few years and many more bonspiels bringing curlers, officials and family members to the community for up to a week at a time often during the off season, providing an economic boost. Once again, this December we are hosting the junior provincial competition which will be shown on Sportsnet, another boost for the city.
I read recently of the good financial position that the City of Parksville is enjoying at the present time and wonder then why they need to create such a hardship for the Parksville Curling Club when we are working so hard to keep afloat and to provide a healthy exercise and recreational enjoyment for all.