Esquimalt council questions non-profit ‘double-dipping’

Concern raised about groups benefitting from grants and tax exemptions

Esquimalt municipal council may one day toughen its stance on organizations benefitting from both grants and permissive tax exemptions.

Concerns were raised at last Monday’s Esquimalt council meeting when Mayor Barb Desjardins and councillors approved the first three readings of the 2011 tax exemption bylaw, exempting 14 organizations from paying for property taxes for the coming year.

As a result, the groups will save a combined $149,638.

There may be alternate ways of supporting organizations without financially stressing the community, “ because this is a significant amount when you add it all up,” said Desjardins.

Outspoken Esquimalt resident and regular council observer Rod Lavergne said it doesn’t make sense that non-profit groups appear to be receiving permissive tax exemptions from the municipality just because they have for years.

“I guess we’re not having a tax increase next year, if you’re spending all this money,” he blasted.

“Start taking a look at this permissive tax grant and don’t tell me we need high rises in Esquimalt to get a (larger) tax base, because you’re wasting our money all the time,” Lavergne said. “It seems in Esquimalt once you get on the gravy train, you are not allowed to get off of that.”

Council also expressed concern that some of the same organizations also received grants this year to help cover programming and operational expenses, including the Esquimalt Neighbourhood House Society, which received $17,000, the Boys and Girls Club of Greater Victoria, which received $7,000, and PEERS Victoria Resource Society and the City of Victoria (for Canada Day celebrations) each received $2,000.

Council has allocated $101,038 in grants so far this year, and there is $3,580 left in the pot.

It is “tantamount to double-dipping,” said Coun. Don Linge.

“I think the line becomes somewhat fuzzy, so going forward I would suggest (a future) council may want to tighten up those requirements so that some organizations cannot apply for both kinds.”

Council is scheduled to consider approving the 2011 tax exemption bylaw on Oct. 24.

 

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Hundreds of wax figures find new life in Saanich man’s home

Former director of Victoria’s Royal London Wax Museum still hopes to revive wax figure tourism

Oak Bay wins Vancouver Island basketball championship

Third-place NDSS will get to challenge second place Claremont for a berth in provincials

Peninsula Eagles will host Midget T2 provincial championships

Provincial championships will take place at Panorama Recreation March 15 to 19

UPDATED: Hit and run results in damaged fire hydrant, flooding on Richmond Road

Registered owner issued $360 ticket, responsible for repair costs

Saanich’s senior race car driver not slowing down

Bill Okell kicks off 2020 season at Buttonwillow Raceway Park in California on Feb. 21

HIGHLIGHTS: Day one and two at the 2020 BC Winter Games

Athletes had sunny – but cold – weather to work with in Fort St. John

Tyler Toffoli scores twice, Canucks crush Bruins 9-3

Stecher, Miller each add three points for Vancouver

Zamboni driver, 42, earns NHL win over Maple Leafs

Emergency goalie called into action for Carolina Hurricanes

Governor general says multiple solutions needed for ‘complicated’ overdose issue

Julie Payette met at a fire hall with firefighters and police officers as well as politicians and health experts

Landlord ordered to pay $11K after harassing B.C. mom to move days after giving birth

Germaine Valdez was pressured to move just a few days after giving birth by C-section to her child

Heart attacks strike B.C. husband and wife just over one year apart

Courtenay couple share personal stories to bring awareness to heart month

‘Nothing surprises us anymore:’ U.S. border officials find brain in package

U.S. Customs and Border Protection agents found the brain packed in a glass mason jar in a Canada Post shipment

B.C., Ottawa sign sweeping 30-year deal for northern caribou habitat

West Moberly, Saulteau co-manage new protection on two million acres

Loans or gifts? Judge rules woman must pay Victoria man back $7K

B.C. judge rules that woman must pay back more than $7,000 in advanced funds to man

Most Read