Ken Johnson, president of the Hallmark Heritage Society, stands near historic Craigflower Schoolhouse in late 2014. The society moved into the building in March 2015, only to receive a surprising tax bill. Black Press File Photo

Saanich society to get tax break

A local society is getting a break on its tax bill.

Council Tuesday granted the Hallmark Heritage Society a permissive tax exemption following a staff recommendation. The exemption covers 2018 and 2019.

Council granted the exemption after the society received a tax bill of almost $3,000 for the Craigflower Schoolhouse assessed at $138,700.

The tax bill threatened to put a serious dent in the budget of the society, which advocates for the preservation, conservation and restoration of heritage assets, including the Craigflower Schoolhouse.

The Hudson’s Bay Company built the schoolhouse, said to be oldest standing school in B.C, in the mid-1850s, when Vancouver Island was still a British colony, and Confederation was still more than a decade away.

The property lost its exempt status when the province took over the building from The Land Conservancy and leased it back to the society.

Ken Johnson, president of the Hallmark Heritage Society, told the Saanich News earlier this year that the society assumed de-facto ownership of the building, falling into the same category of businesses that pay taxes on revenues generated on provincial Crown land like mining and forestry companies.

“Due to the timing of this transaction, and the inability for [council] to adopt a bylaw in time for the 2017 tax roll, this property was taxable in 2017,” said Valla Tinney, director of finance in a memo to council last month.

Granting the tax exemption now would return the property to its former exempt status, with the exception that it would be permissive rather than statutory. The next council could grant the society a four-year-long statutory exemption in 2020, she said.

Just Posted

Legal action against B.C. specualtion tax a last resort

Group of Arizona home owners feel they’ve been swept up in an attack on land speculators

Rock the Rink gives youth once-in-a-lifetime opportunity

Winning band will get to play a set at Rock the Shores

Sooke makes call for regional fire dispatch

Some municipalities decide to take service off-Island

Victoria beaches 1,560 pounds lighter after Surfrider cleanup

200 people came out to clean the beach on Earth Day

LGBTQ advocates turn Victoria SOGI protest into dance party

Counter-protest outnumbers anti-SOGI activists on lawn of B.C. legislature

Parents call for change to health laws after Oak Bay teen’s death

Accidental overdose has Elliot Eurchuk’s parents seeking change to B.C Infants Act

Toronto police officer ‘gave himself the space and time’ in van attack

Footage shows officer standing up, turning off his siren and talking clearly to the suspect

$1.18 to $1.58 a litre: Are you paying the most for gas in B.C.?

Gas prices across B.C. vary, with lowest in Vernon and highest in – you guessed it – Metro Vancouver

Greater Victoria wanted list for the week of April 24

Greater Victoria Crime Stoppers is seeking the public’s help in locating the… Continue reading

Inquest set 10 years after B.C. woman shot, left to die

Lisa Dudley, and her partner, Guthrie McKay were shot in their Mission home in September 2008

B.C. hockey team to retire Humboldt Bronco victim’s number

BCHL’s Surrey Eagles to retire Jaxon Joseph’s No. 10 in light of bus tragedy

B.C. Hells Angels invited to rally by anti-SOGI organizer

The Culture Guard group has helped Hells Angels in the past, said its executive director.

B.C. bill aims to keep Indigenous kids in communities, out of care

Changes to Child, Family and Community Service Act could connect MCFD, Indigenous communities

Condo contract rules target B.C. property flippers

Regulations to prevent property transfer tax evasion

Most Read