Council publishes policy on tax exemptions

Council has approved a policy for organizations wanting to apply for a tax exemption.

Council has approved a policy for organizations wanting to apply for a tax exemption.

The document, entitled Permissive Tax Exemption Policy, outlines the process and criteria necessary for an organization to get an exemption.

“Upon the arrival of our finance director (Carolyn Bidwell), it was brought up to me immediately that she was getting calls from various organizations and were wondering as to when they could apply for permissive tax [exemptions], from various organizations from the community,” said District chief administrative officer Michael Glavin.

Glavin said that having this policy “was a very good idea” as it will “move the process very transparently.” Glavin also added the policy lists specific deadlines.

“They have a very specific deadline that they have to apply by so we’re not getting applications throughout the year,” he said.

The policy lists July 31 as the yearly deadline, and application packages will be available at the District office.

“It’s a well-timed policy right now because we are coming into our budgets and such,” said Glavin.

The policy states that a tax exemption is meant for the District to “support organizations within the community which further Council’s objectives of enhancing quality of life.”

We’ve actually added one or two every year,” replied Glavin to a question from Coun. Jonathan Van Barneveld on whether people are aware of who can apply. “We’re just getting … more organizations coming online in the community, they’re non-profit, they’re now looking for [an exemption], and this policy sets the criteria.”

Currently, the District has mostly granted exemptions to religious organizations, but other organizations such as non-profits, charities, care facilities and athletic or service clubs can qualify.

The policy also lists other criteria such as who owns the land, how the organization benefits the community and whether all debts have been settled.