Today’s Poll

Nelson Council decides which non-profits and churches will be exempt from property tax

Bill Metcalfe
By Bill Metcalfe
October 18th, 2013

At its October 7 meeting, Nelson Council considered a list of non-profit organizations in Nelson that may be exempted from property taxes for the next three years. Half of those organizations are churches, but church exemptions only amount to 10% of the total of about $40,000.

The bylaw has passed first and second reading and will come up again at a future meeting.

The following list shows the proposed exempted organizations and the amounts of their exemptions for the 2013 tax year.

Ascension Lutheran Church– $535

Cathedral of Mary Immaculate– $148

Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints–$854

Eleos Centre Ministries– $139

Evangelical Covenant Church– $126

St John’s Lutheran Church–$470

First Baptist Church–$318

Kootenay Christian Fellowship $220

Nelson Congregation of Jehovah’s Witnesses– $506

Nelson United Church– $161

Pentecostal Assemblies of Canada (Bethel Christian Centre)–$994

St. Saviors Anglican Pro-Cathedral– $233

Salvation Army– $4344

Kootenay Kids Society – Silica St.– $3576

West Kootenay Women’s Association– $1157

Kalein Hospice Centre Society (50% PTE in 2013)– $2265

Granite Pointe Golf Club– $7364

Nelson CARES Society -(Old Nelson & District Housing Society)–$3355

Nelson CARES Society– $2966

Kootenay Advocacy Network– $1788

Nelson Kiwanis Projects Society– $3147

Nelson Kiwanis Projects Society– $5249

Total: $39,915

That total is slightly less than .5% of the city’s total property tax levy, which is the upper limit council has put on total permissive tax exemptions for each year.

While a federal exemption means the municipality cannot tax the property churches sit on, it can tax the property around the church like the yard and parking lot.

The city’s policy is that non-profit organizations are eligible for a permissive exemption if the organization

  • provides needed social & community services to city residents
  • provides arts, cultural or recreational activities of demonstrable benefit to city residents
  • has the ability to raise its own revenues
  • offers its services primarily to the broader community of citizens

The policy also states that an exemption will not be granted if it would result in an inappropriate shifting of costs from other levels of government to local taxpayers.

Last year council granted 10-year exemptions to several organizations that lease premises that are owned by the city, namely the Boy Scouts and Girl Guides, the Rod and Gun Club, the Nelson Curling Club, the Capitol Theatre, and Touchstones.

Related Story in The Nelson Daily:

Nelson Council continues to iron out the tax exemption wrinkles (October, 2012)

Categories: GeneralPolitics

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