At its Aug. 4 meeting, Courtenay council considered seven new applications for exemption from taxation in 2016.
The Comox Valley Children’s Day Care Society has again applied for exemption, but staff recommends denial.
“The belief is that there are numerous day care providers in the community, and if council provided this type of exemption, we would have no basis for denying that exemption to all the other providers of that similar service,” Coun. Doug Hillian said. “There’s been a tradition in not allowing that exemption.”
The rationale is not good enough for Coun. Erik Eriksson, who favours granting the Day Care Society request.
“It’s really the families that benefit from the exemption, not the society or the businesses,” he said.
Another applicant is the Comox Valley Transition Society, which receives a 40 per cent exemption for its England Avenue office. It has requested an additional exemption on a newly-leased property at Second Street where it operates Amethyst House, a residential facility for women. Staff recommends a 40 per cent exemption.
“I believe the Comox Valley Recovery Centre has a 100 per cent exemption, and I’m not sure what the reason would be for the discrepancy,” Hillian said.
A permissive tax exemption is a means for council to support non-profit organizations that enhance the quality of life for Courtenay residents and deliver municipal services in an economical manner. Providing a full exemption means an increase of the tax burden for remaining property owners.
In 2013, council placed a cap on the value of exemptions to be approved.
A maximum exemption of 40 per cent applies to those who provide activities or services beyond city boundaries.
With the exception of Eriksson, council voted to postpone adoption of a staff report on the issue.