City council approved a number of non-profit organizations to receive a two-year tax exemption in 2019, in accordance with the Non-Profit Organization Property Tax Exemptions Policy.
This includes the Lloydminster Sexual Assault Services, the Lloydminster Lodge 2027 Loyal Order of Moose and the Lloydminster Air Cadet 186 Squadron.
After a vote, the Border City Metis Society (BCMS) received a partial tax exemption with more information to be provided.
After city council received their application for a tax exemption, an initial report decided they were not eligible for one. However, an Assessment Team conducted further investigation and determined that it could qualify for a partial exemption.
Councillor Johnathon Torresan says he’s looking for more certainty around how the BCMS uses the basement at the basement at the property, to ensure it’s not being used for non-profit purposes.
“I struggle to understand like a building like that, a big open space, you know, kids in there, that it’s not being used at some level for the organization and how they’re running it. And for me, I feel like there must be some kind of issue in terms of communication between the two parties,” says Torresan.
City administration says they’ve had several conversations with the BCMS to clarify how they use the property. The main floor of the property is used for the Aboriginal Head Start Program, an early childhood intervention program recognized by the province of Saskatchewan.
Torresan admits that he trusts his employees, but wants a hundred per cent certainty around how the BCMS uses the basement.
“A hundred per cent certainty is all I’m looking for because I’d feel terrible for a not for profit to be charged additional dollars that they otherwise would be eligible for an exemption for.”
Torresan believes there must be confusion or miscommunication around the BCMS’s use of their basement.
“Even the mayor himself said he spent some time down there this summer and that it’s being used. But, I believe there must be some confusion at some level.”
Torresan adds that even an e-mail to city council explaining how they use the basement would be sufficient. He didn’t explain a deadline but assumes it may have to be received before the end of February