Council’s recent decision to deny TLC tax exemption status for an outstanding amount is absolutely shocking. Why should they pay taxes in the first place? This is not a question of “land ownership” and property taxes. The Land Conservancy’s mission is to create, protect and preserve parkland with the help of thousands of donors for all of us to enjoy. Who would come down so hard on such a wonderful not-for-profit organization?
If the district of Sooke is looking to overcome shortfalls in its finances, there are many other ways of doing this than an unacceptable, unethical tax grab targeted at TLC.
Please see Notice of Tax Exemption pursuant to Bylaw 12-073, Section 224, published by the Council of the City of Victoria, in the Times Colonist on Wednesday, Oct.17, 2012, (TC Section A9), in which TLC features prominently for protected properties and granted tax exemption.
It appears that in Sooke some individuals value the ever increasing urban-style developments more than all the natural assets and the beauty of the land surrounding us.
Earlier in the year an unsigned opinion piece appeared on the editorial page of the Sooke News Miror, which was spiked with outright false statements and defamations about The Land Conservancy, reflecting total ignorance about this particular organization. This together with our council’s negative decision is nothing but an affront to all the TLC members, adding insult to injury to all volunteers, donors and staff of the Land Conservancy.
I would, therefore, urge the District of Sooke council to review their decision and follow the City of Victoria’s example.
Editor’s note: The information contained in the editorial aforementioned came from the TLC’s own 2011 annual Financial Report.