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HomeNewsSmithers organizations to lose permissive tax exemptions

Smithers organizations to lose permissive tax exemptions

Permissive tax exceptions are ending in the Town of Smithers. 

Last night (Tuesday), town council brought the motion forward and most of the councilors agreed it should end. 

“I’m fully supportive of my taxes supporting our valuable and worthy organizations that provide service in Smithers,” said Councilor Calvin Elliot, who voted against ending the tax exemption. 

According to Councilor Sam Raven, if organizations that are currently exempt paid municipal taxes, it would equate to about $300,000. 

The money not collected from exempt organizations is instead added to property taxes for residents and businesses. 

“I’ve heard loud and clear from everyone I’ve talked to. They would rather choose which [organizations] they donate to but being forced to donate to causes that they may not believe in, they didn’t feel was fair,” said Raven. 

While council has voted to get rid of exemptions, they won’t be going away until 2025. 

They also understood that the exemptions allowed nonprofit organizations to operate and want to find a way they could continue to provide support. 

What was proposed is to expand the Grant and Aid program with the town to allow for more applications following a matrix model. 

A letter will be sent out to organizations currently benefiting from the permissive tax exemption about the current timeline. 

Continued discussions around an expanded grant and aid program will come at a later date.

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