City of Powell River Council has given three readings to six draft permissive tax exemption bylaws, which would provide city tax exemptions to 62 applicants.
The first three readings were voted on by council at its meeting on Thursday, October 3.
The matter was first raised at the Tuesday, October 1, committee of the whole meeting, when chief financial officer Adam Langenmaier reported on the permissive tax exemption bylaws.
Langenmaier said the Community Charter provides for two types of tax exemptions. There are statutory exemptions that are granted to properties such as houses of worship, hospitals and seniors housing, which are set out by the provincial government. The charter also provides for permissive tax exemptions where the city has control.
Langenmaier provided city councillors with a list of all of the applications for permissive tax exemption.
“There were no significant changes from last year,” said Langenmaier. “There are four new ones.”
Langenmaier said the biggest applicant this year was the Powell River Sports and Fitness Society, which is the tennis club on Joyce Avenue, with a requested 2020 tax exemption of $18,977.62.
The total permissive exemption requested for 2020 is $346,141.77, which is a $58,000 increase over last year. Of that, $34,745.56 comes from the four new properties and the remaining $23,000 is assessment growth on the 58 applications from the prior year.
“There is nothing out of the ordinary here,” said Langenmaier. “It is a big service to a lot of these societies and not-for-profits that apply. It would be a hit to them to pay property taxes.”
Councillor CaroleAnn Leishman asked if in previous years, the city had received the commercial tax on the property now occupied by the tennis facility and now the city will not. Langenmaier said that was the case.
Leishman then asked if that exemption was just on that portion of the mall. Langenmaier said yes, the exemption only applies to the portion the society uses. He said there are a number of other societies occupying commercial space so this is not the only one.
Groups and organizations that have applied for permissive tax exemptions include: Strive Living Society, Tourism Powell River, Powell River Lawn Bowling Club, Westview Flying Club, Powell River Otago Rugby Football Club, Life Cycle Housing Society, Cranberry Community Hall Association, Powell River Historical Museum and Archives, Scouts Canada, Powell River Fine Arts Association, Stardusters Square Dance Club, Powell River Bon Accueil Society, Powell River Italian Community Club, Townsite Heritage Society, Powell River Employment Program Society, Nature Trust of British Columbia, Powell River Kiwanis Housing Society, BC SPCA, Senior Citizens Association of BC Branch 49, Powell River Search and Rescue Society, Royal Canadian Legion Branch 164, Powell River Council for Arts and Culture, Alano Club of Powell River, Powell River Action Centre Food Bank, Carlson Community Club, Powell River Miklat Recovery House Society, British Columbia Association of Seventh Day Adventists, Roman Catholic Archbishop of Vancouver, inclusion Powell River, Powell River Brain Injury Society, Powell River Sunset Homes Society, Powell River Academy of Music, Source Club Society, Powell River Curling Club, and Powell River Regional Hospital District.
According to a report from Langenmaier, the 2020 total permissive tax exemption of $346,141.77 is equivalent to 1.9 per cent of the 2019 general municipal taxation, which was valued at $18,353,621. The permissive tax exemptions have to be adopted by the city before the end of October.