Nearly $1 million in Coquitlam tax breaks
A number of non-profit groups and churches in Coquitlam are expected to get their prayers answered with a break in property taxes next year.
The tax exemptions for 49 properties — of which city council last week gave three readings to a new five-year bylaw — translate to $927,567 or 0.85% of the tax base in 2013.
Tax relief is set to be granted to 30 places of worship, nine residential care facilities, five recreational lands and five non-profit organizations — most of which have not pay property taxes in previous years.
City council is expected to give the bylaw fourth and final reading at a later date.
Last year, the city re-tooled its permissive taxation exemption bylaw after council told city managers it wanted to rethink how the city doles out tax breaks, saying homeowners and businesses shoulder too much of the burden.
As a result of the revision, the city eliminated the Earl Haig Society from its list as it no longer meets tax exemption criteria for the retirement residence it operates off Austin Avenue. The society will have three years to make the adjustment, according to a city staff report.
Still, the city added a new request this year: the Simon Fraser Society for Community Living will get a break equalling $4,054 for its two licensed residential care centres (another request, from the Red Door Housing Society for its two low-income housing complexes, was denied as it doesn't offer assisted living services and is not registered with the province).
Among the exempted recipients for 2013 are: the Burquitlam Care Society (Burquitlam Lions Centre); Burquitlam Senior Housing Society (L.J. Christmas Manor); Société du Foyer Maillard (Foyer Maillard); Colony Farm Community Garden Society; Nature Trust of BC (for recreational lands at Addington Point and Siwash Island); Royal Canadian Legion, Branch 263; Community Living Society Inc.; and Howe Sound Services Society (Windsong House).
Under the province’s Community Charter, municipal councils have until Oct. 31 to pass a bylaw to exempt properties for the following year.