FORT ST. JOHN, B.C. – Four local thrift stores applied to City Council for tax exemptions and only two were approved.
At City Council on Monday, September 9th, 2019, Council addressed the four applications received by the Salvation Army, the Mennonite Central Committee BC (MCCBC), Northern Environmental Action Team (NEAT) and Pentecostal of Fort St. John for permissive tax exemptions.
Council declined approval for MCCBC and NEAT, as expressed in the city reports, MCCBC is a non-profit organization although they are operating a retail business within the city and property tax is an operating expense of any business.
NEAT was declined due to consolidating its thrift store and outreach/education office into one location in 2018. NEAT is also leasing their property which expires on September 30, 2020. NEAT wants to renew the lease yet the city staff share they are unable to levy property taxes on a tax roll for a portion of the calendar year when it is exempted by bylaw.
As noted in the Mennonite Central Committee Administration Report, the thrift store is a retail business and taxes are an operating expense of this. The thrift store comprises half of NEAT’s leased space, city staff recommended submitting a grant-in-aid application for the municipal portion of taxes.
For more on the reports; CLICK HERE