The District of Squamish is squeezing some community organizations out of the tax break pool and into the granting fund.
In July, officials began the process of narrowing the scope of groups eligible for property tax exemptions. The intention is to limit permissive tax exemptions to a bare minimum and shift aid requests to the community enhancement grant process.
At a Committee of the Whole meeting last month, Coun. Patricia Heintzman requested that the B.C. Lions Society for Children with Disabilities, Howe Sound Women’s Centre Society, Squamish Senior Citizens Home Society and the Alano Club be kept in this year’s progressive tax exemption (PTEs) pool. The motion was passed.
At Tuesday’s (Oct. 2) council meeting, the recommendations received their first three readings. The Alano Club, however, was removed from the list and will have to apply for a community grant.
Places of worship are not permitted PTEs for land other than their worship facilities, the district’s general manager of financial services Joanne Greenlees said. As the Alano Club’s PTE was previously issued for a lot adjacent to the club, the request runs counter to the intent of the new policy, she noted.
“We felt it would be inconstent for us to recommend approval for this,” she said.
The bylaws must come before council again for final approval.