Penticton and South Okanagan
Nonprofits not exempt from taxes
Oct 11, 2013 / 7:45 am
While churches made a recently-compiled list for tax exemptions in Penticton, several nonprofits and other societies did not.
Among those that do no qualify according to a staff report this week are the South Okanagan Similkameen Brain Injury Society, the Penticton Senior's Drop in Centre and the Salvation Army's food bank and thrift store.
"It has to do with if they have a certain amount of capital, they are automatically taken off," said Councillor Helena Konanz, who considered the matter along with others at Monday's council meeting. "But they can come back to us and tell us why they have that secure amount of funds."
Konanz further recommended those considering appealing, to do so by the end of the month.
The permissive tax exemption policy endorsed by council requires applicants to provide financial information and proof that the organization is in good standing with the Society Act.
Staff reviews the applications and determines which organizations would suffer a financial hardship if the exemption was not endorsed and which are in a good financial position and should be considered individually.
Applicants with financial need are considered to be those with limited funds less than $100,000.
New in the policy for 2014 is all places of worship will be exempt for three years, 2014, 2015 and 2016.
Patti MacAhonic, chief executive officer of the Brain Injury Society, said the news came as a surprise and she plans to appeal.
"It might look like we have all this working capital, but the reality is we have three different streams of what we do, brain injury services, homeless outreach and two houses used for social housing," she said. "And the money considered working capital that they see, might have nothing to do with those houses."
At this point, she said, she is feeling positive about being put back on the list, after a recent conversation with Deb Clipperton, acting revenue supervisor.
At the next council meeting, she plans to address the rationale for including the society on the list.
"My job is to ensure we are operational and providing the services we need to, with the funding in place to do so," she said.
Information on other nonprofits that were excluded is available on the City's website, under council meetings.
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