"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

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