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qathet Regional District board to consider golf club tax exemption

Finance committee recommends request be denied
WANTS RELIEF: qathet Regional District’s finance committee has voted to recommend the regional board deny Myrtle Point Golf Club’s request for a permissive tax exemption.

qathet Regional District’s (qRD) finance committee is recommending that the regional board deny a request from Myrtle Point Golf Club for a permissive tax exemption for 2022.

At the September 7 finance committee meeting, committee members considered the request for relief of its property taxes next year.

Electoral Area B director Mark Gisborne said historically, he has indicated he does not support permissive tax exemptions in relation to regional district properties.

“I am of the mind that a grant-in-aid from the areas that receive the benefit to be a more appropriate mechanism,” said Gisborne. “However, if memory serves me correctly, last year, the regional district gave the money from the electoral areas but not the municipality. I find this to be less fair than a permissive tax exemption.”

Gisborne said he had a question for directors: would the committee be willing to provide a grant from general grant-in-aid funds in the future when the regional district deals with grants-in-aid?

Committee chair and city director George Doubt said he was not going to poll the directors on a question from one director.

Electoral Area E director Andrew Fall said in a staff report, it stated that in 2020 and 2021, Myrtle Point Golf Club was awarded grants-in-aid in the amount of $7,500 so it had successfully achieved grants-in-aid.

“We had a lot of discussion on it, and I’ve said many things in favour of that process, but I think this is a good motion and I support it,” added Fall.

Electoral Area C director Clay Brander said he was going to vote in favour of the recommendation.

“Any future concerns about grants-in-aid or where the money comes from can be best discussed at that point in time, not today,” added Brander.

According to a staff report, the regional board granted tax exemptions to the golf club for land classified as recreation/nonprofit for taxation years of 2015, 2016, 2018 and 2019. The report stated that in 2017, the board approved financial assistance to offset estimated 2017 taxes because the golf club did not submit a request for permissive tax exemption before the deadline. The club’s request for permissive tax exemptions for the 2020 and 2021 tax years were denied, according to the report.

However, in 2020 and 2021, the golf club was awarded grants-in-aid in the amount of $7,500 each year for the establishment of cart paths.