Tuesday, November 15, 2011
Don't tax the churches
I've been receiving numerous phone calls and emails over the past several days, asking for my position on the property-tax-exempt status of church properties in Coquitlam.
My answer is this: I am in favour of retaining the status on church properties. The City has a policy, allowed by the Local Government Act, to exempt from taxes properties that are used for charitable purposes. The policy means that the City foregoes collection of about $1 million in taxes every year. Details of the policy are currently under review (as noted in the document to which I provided a link, above)--I believe this is what has sparked all the questions.
But the City benefits in numerous far-more-important ways by supporting the vital institutions that receive this break.
A column I wrote seven or eight years ago, for the Tri-City News, details some of the benefits. My position has not changed since then.
Photo shows Our Lady of Fatima Church in Coquitlam. Photo from CitySoup.ca
Posted by Terry O'Neill at 9:32 AM