The blog title says "elect", but I've now retired from elected office and am volunteering with several non-profit charities.
"Reason is always a kind of brute force; those who appeal to the head rather than the heart, however pallid and polite, are necessarily men of violence. We speak of 'touching' a man's heart, but we can do nothing to his head but hit it." --G.K. Chesterton
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
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