Summerland council has granted more than $166,000 worth of permissive tax exemptions to places of worship and nonprofit organizations within the community.
Council approved the 2022 permissive tax exemptions on May 25.
In a report to council, David Svetlichny, director of finance for the municipality, said council has the discretion to approve exemptions in any manner it sees fit, using a process that is not discriminatory and does not infringe upon rights such as freedom of religion and equality.
The financial impact of the tax exemptions is $166,646.40. To understand this figure, for 2022, a tax increase of one per cent is expected to be around $93,400. In the 2021 Summerland budget, the tax increase was 1.65 per cent.
Exemptions were given to nine churches and places of worship account for $37,838.63. The value of these exemptions ranges from $1,765.72 for Summerland United Church to $8,816.00 for Holy Child Catholic Church.
For all other nonprofit organizations, the permissive tax exemptions are worth $128,807.77. There are 11 organizations on this list.
The Kettle Valley Steam Railway’s exemption is $39,720.56. The Summerland Golf Society received an exemption of $22,502.40. The Summerland Recreation Society (Lakeshore Racquets Club) received an exemption of $20,137.39 and the South Okanagan Sailing Association received an exemption of $13,980.39. The remaining exemptions are all less than $10,000.
In 2016, Summerland municipal staff reviewed its permissive tax exemption criteria. The following year, nonprofit organizations received a 100 per cent permissive tax exemption for a four-year period. Places of worship, private schools and hospitals received a 100 per cent permissive tax exemption for a 10 year period. In addition, the permissive tax exemption was gradually reduced for lands in excess of those used to provide their services. The permissive tax exemptions for excess lands have been eliminated from 2021 onward.
The municipality has until Oct. 31 to submit a permissive tax exemption bylaw.
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