Penticton council served up some tax relief to local non-profit organizations hungry for a break.
Each year, municipalities can exempt land or improvements from taxation, provided applicants can illustrate they would realize a financial hardship if the permissive tax exemption was not endorsed.
Penticton’s revenue supervisor Angela Campbell explained to council last week that first priority goes to groups showing a working capital of $100,000 or less, which is considered the threshold for possible financial hardship without tax relief. Each applicant must submit an application that includes financial information and proof the organization is in good standing with the Society Act.
Other organizations can be approved if their working capital exceeds $100,000, but financial need must still be documented.
This year, there were five new applications from local groups seeking tax exemptions: the B.C. Wine Information Centre, the Roman Catholic Bishop of Nelson for Birthright of Penticton Society, the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, Penticton and Wine Country Chamber of Commerce and the Penticton Kiwanis Housing Society.
In total, staff recommended 47 be approved, and the value of the exemption for land or improvements works out to $381,458.76.
All told, there were 25 organizations in the community that were not recommended by staff to receive the permissive tax exemption, mostly as a result of no financial need. Those totalled $128,239.42.
Council unanimously approved the permissive tax exemptions to qualifying organizations.