Tuesday, October 5, 2021

Langley City Council considering $423,000 in property tax exemptions for non-profits and churches

Under provincial law, cities cannot levy property tax for the land under a church building. Cities can also exclude other lands from property tax that are owned by or used by churches, charitable, philanthropic or other not-for-profits.

As a matter of policy, Langley City Council also extends property tax exemptions to include all church-used properties, including parking lots, and to organziations on City-owned lands, such as the Langley Community Music School.

Property tax exemptions are not a free lunch. Each exemption granted results in an increase in taxes for people and organizations that do pay property tax. With no clear policies on why some non-profit deserves an exemption compared to others and realizing that these exemptions impact other property taxpayers, Council has not granted further exemptions since 2010. We receive applications for new property tax exemptions every year.

This “holding the line” changed last night. The majority of City Council felt that Langley Food Bank should receive a property tax exemption because of their good work. While I also believe they do good work, I voted against this initially for the previously mentioned reasons. Given that we cannot pick favourites from the non-profits that apply for permissive tax exemptions, I made the case that we should grant property tax exemptions to all the great non-profits that applied this year. The rest of Council agreed.

As such, all of Council supported extending the in-place property tax exemption for another year as listed:

Langley Seniors Resource Society - 20605 51B Ave: $34,412
Langley Stepping Stones - 20101 Michaud: $8,268
Langley Community Music School - 4899 207 St: $24,968
Langley Lawn Bowling (Outdoor) - 20471 54 Ave: $24,960
Langley Community Services Society - 5339 207 St: $9,568
Council of the Salvation Army - 5787 Langley Bypass: $2,470
Roman Catholic - 20676 Fraser Hwy: $63,795
Anglican Parish of St Andrew's - 20955 Old Yale Rd: $17,170
Vineyard Christian Fellowship - 5708 Glover Rd: $36,913
Vcr Global Mission Church - 5673 200 St: $16,900
Evangelical Free - 20719 48 Ave: $19,753
Church of the Nazarene - 19991 49 Ave: $15,443
Bridge Community Church - 5521 Brydon Cres: $12,171
New Apostolic Church - 19999 53 Ave: $4,279
Global School Society - 19785 55A Ave: $12,056
Langley Care Society - 5451 204 St: $29,777
Langley Hospice Society - 20660 48 Ave: $3,886
Inclusion Langley Society - 208-20239 Michaud Cr: $893
Inclusion Langley Society - 210-20239 Michaud Cr: $946
Inclusion Langley Society - 19977 45A Ave: $2,202
Inclusion Langley Society - 4570 209A St: $2,389
Inclusion Langley Society - 4830 196 St: $2,314
Inclusion Langley Society - 210-5650 201A St: $671
Inclusion Langley Society - 218-5650 201A St: $855
Inclusion Langley Society - 312-5650 201A St: $1,039

All of Council also supported new property tax exemptions for one year as listed:

Langley Memorial Hospital Auxiliary - 20560 Fraser Hwy: $42,620
Inclusion Langley Society - 20689 Fraser Hwy (Ground Floor): $8,914
Langley Food Bank - 5768 203 St: $12,357
Encompass Support Services Society 20616 - Eastleigh Crescent: $11,319

These exemptions have a total impact of around 1.5% on City property tax revenue. Council gave the updated property tax exemptions bylaw first, second, and third reading last night.

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