Penticton Royal Canadian Legion members, president Ivo Jaager (left) and service officer Bill Bowen observe a moment of silence in 2017. B.C./Yukon Legion delegates will be in Penticton Sept. 26 to 29 for the bi-annual convention. (Western News file photo)

B.C./Yukon Legion convention in Penticton to focus on taxing issue

Around 300 delegates are expected to be in Penticton

“Burdensome” property taxes will be one of the hot topics for the 300 B.C./Yukon Legion delegates who will be in Penticton for the 54th bi-annual convention.

The B.C./Yukon Command of the Royal Canadian Legion will be speaking on the topic during the convention from Sept. 26 to 29 as they meet to make decisions on the future of the Legion in B.C.

“Property taxes are one of the single highest expenses for our not-for-profit, volunteer organization. Some branches are paying close to $100,000 on property taxes every year,” said Veronica Brown, executive director of the BC/Yukon Command, in a news release.

READ MORE: Penticton Legion’s grand re-opening a success, says president

There are approximately 145 branches and, According to the executive director, property taxes frustrate the almost 145 branches in their ability to serve the community through giving.

“Our branches provide over $3.8 million annually in funds donated for veteran support, community groups, youth, individual emergency funding and hospitals. They are an integral part of the social fabric of our communities,” said Brown.

Among the various speakers at this year’s convention is Marianne Alto, Victoria City Councillor who is championing property tax exemption for Legion branches in Victoria and now, across B.C. Councillor Alto will be reporting to the Legion members on her promotion of a province-wide property tax exemption after this year’s 2019 Union of BC Municipalities meeting that also takes place this week.

According to a news release, the B.C./Yukon Command’s South Okanagan and Similkameen Zone has donated more than $100,000 to the South Okanagan and Similkameen Medical Foundation for the expansion of Penticton’s new hospital. Carey Bornn, the executive director of the foundation will be speaking to our members on their contributions.

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