DOH

Tax exemptions requested

Two of Houston’s non-profit social service agencies have submitted property tax exemption requests for the 2023 tax year.

Houston Community Services wants an exemption for its property at 3398 10th St. and Houston Link to Learning for property at 2350 Butler Ave.

A bylaw is needed for council to authorize the exemptions and will be considered at a future meeting.

Background information provided to council in an Aug. 11 memo stated tax exemptions are permitted “for property owned or held by a charitable, philanthropic, and non-profit corporation and used for the purposes of the corporation.”

The municipal tax exemption wanted by Houston Community Services amounts to $3,774 at 2022 tax rates and $4,907 when all property taxes are included while the municipal tax exemption for Houston Link to Learning for the Plaza entertainment complex recently purchased would be $6,953 at 2022 tax rates and $9,286 when all property taxes are included.

Activities at the Houston Community Services property includes services to seniors, families and youth in need, Alcoholics Anonymous, Narcotics Anonymous and the Houston Hospice Society.

Activities at Houston Link to Learning’s Plaza property include training for residents so they can work in retail, janitorial services and food establishments. It is also a gathering place for the public as well as offering free recreation services for seniors.

Altogether there are 19 organizations provided with tax exemption status carrying a municipal tax exemption total of $66,143. The large majority are churches.

Cattle roaming free

The District of Houston can’t take any direct action over complaints of cattle wandering free in the Morgan Road area.

Although the District of Houston is in a livestock district, it is not within a pound district and because of that, lacks the regulatory authority to take action.

“Since the lands in question are not in a pound district, livestock on those lands are exempted ….” indicated District of Houston protective services director Jim Daigneault in a detailed memo to council explaining the ins and outs of regulatory possibilities.

The cows in question belong to one owner and the complaints are that they damaged neighbouring gardens and property.

People complaining to the District of Houston are instead directed to the B.C. Cattlemen’s Association’s regional bodies.

“Staff will [also] contact the province to determine potential courses of action,” indicated District of Houston chief administrative officer Michael Dewar.

Subdivision application moving forward

The owner of property on Pioneer Road who wants to subdivide it can now take the plan to the provincial Agricultural Land Commission (ALC) following council’s initial consent.

Sandy Harms has the property at 2003 Pioneer Road and wants to subdivide a portion so that it can be sold as a separate residential lot.

And should the ALC give its approval, the application will then be sent back to the District for additional approval consideration.

Information provided to council indicates that awhile a portion of the Pioneer Road property is in the Agricultural Land Reserve, the area proposed to be subdivided off is not within the land reserve.

Despite that, council was told an application must still be made to the ALC prior to the District’s formal involvement.

Additionally, a Council resolution is required as part of the application package for the ALC.