Property Tax Exemptions

The Community Charter provides that on or before October 31 in any year, Council may by bylaw, exempt land and/or improvements from municipal property taxes. In addition to the Community Charter requirements, those organizations applying for exemption must comply with the guidelines set out in this policy.

Typically the exemptions for non-City owned buildings are granted for a four-year period and accordingly, the application intake occurs every four years. In the Fall 2020 Council resolved to grant exemptions for a one-year period (for tax year 2021) in order to allow it additional time to review the process before awarding longer term exemptions. Accordingly, for 2021 Council is again accepting applications and anticipates awarding exemptions for a three-year period in order to realign the process with the four-year cycle.  

Applications for the Fall 2021 intake must be received by July 30, 2021. 

The Council recognizes that such organizations contribute to the well being of the citizens of the municipality and to the improvement of their quality of life, and that exemption from taxation by Council may effectively promote enhanced community services. Organizations applying for taxation exemptions must successfully meet each general criterion.

  1. General Criteria
    1. Exemptions are based on the Section 224 use of the property, not on the charitable status of the organization as a whole.
    2. In the case of non-profit organizations seeking permissive tax exemption on private property, only that portion of private property that is entirely used for charitable, philanthropic purposes will be considered for exemption.
    3. The operations of the applicant on the property must be consistent with municipal policies, plans, bylaws, codes and regulations.
    4. In the case of non-profit organizations seeking tax exemption, only property that is utilized to provide services for and/or to support to all City residents, without discrimination, will be considered.
    5. PTEs will not be considered where Council believes that an exemption will result in the inappropriate shifting of responsibilities and costs of other levels of government to local taxpayers.
    6. Organizations that disparage others are not eligible for a Permissive Tax Exemption.
    7. Receipt of a Permissive Tax Exemption will be taken into consideration when organizations apply for other municipal grants.
    8. Organizations must meet the guidelines of section 224 of the Community Charter.
    9. Organizations must be non-profit and must provide needed
      1. Direct social & community services to City residents; or
      2. Arts, cultural or recreational activities of demonstrable benefit to City residents, that can be reasonably considered to provide a unique extension of municipal arts and cultural services, or that can reasonably be considered an extension of municipal recreational services.
    10. Organizations must offer services primarily to the broader community of citizens of the City and justify the need for that service.
    11. For the purposes of general provisions 1.9 and 1.10, in establishing need for direct social, community, cultural or recreational services, Council has the power to make a distinction between addressing “need” and providing “choice.”
    12. Organizations must show evidence of ongoing, active volunteer involvement where applicable.
      1. Organizations must present proof of financial responsibility and accountability; the organization must provide any financial information and supporting information requested and, at a minimum, provide the previous year's financial statements, as per Section 7.1.
      2. In assessing applications, the City will consider the ability of the organization to raise its own revenues.
    13. Organizations must provide evidence of seeking funding from other sources, including exemptions from other levels of government.

For more information please contact City Hall.