by Colin Smith
Who is eligible for a non-profit property exemption has been officially set out in a new bylaw.
Council passed the Non-Profit Organizations Tax Exemption Bylaw at its regular meeting Tuesday.
In the community, there are currently three organizations that have been granted tax exemptions: Morinville Legion No. 176, for its main building; the Jessica Martel Memorial Foundation, for its boarding house; and the About Kids Preschool Centre at Morinville Community High School.
The bylaw regularizes the conditions for exemptions, setting out that they are available only to non-profit groups.
As a result, Little Kids Preschool, which is operated for profit, will be subject to property taxes in future.
However, the bylaw grants the organization a one-year grace period before it is required to pay. The bylaw passed unanimously with an amendment by Councillor Lawrence Giffen to reduce the grace period from the administration’s proposed three years down to one year.
“I think there’s a little bit of responsibility that we have as a Town in regards to what happened in this case,” said Mayor Barry Turner. “The potential, given what is happening right now, of the impact of an unexpected bill on an organization like Little Kids that is experiencing significant hardships may change our business initiative.”
“So I’d like to get it sorted out as soon as we possibly can,” he said. “And I think the motion as put forward certainly does that.”