By Trevor Busch
Property taxes assessed for 2015 on the Taber Gymnastic Fitness Club’s (TGFC) new downtown facility have been cancelled by town council.
At their July 20 meeting, town council voted 6-1 to cancel the 2015 pro-rated tax levy for the TGFC, in the amount of $1,078.81. Coun. Randy Sparks opposed the motion.
“We are a not-for-profit organization, and would greatly appreciate you considering this, and maybe reimbursing us that $1,078,” said TGFC president Sharla Kane. “But if not, we appreciate that we’ve received some of it back.”
On June 2, the town had received a letter from the Taber Gymnastics Fitness Club requesting the club be declared exempt from taxes, or that the club’s 2015 property taxes be waived.
“The reason I’m here today is to ask you, if possible, to consider reimbursing our club in the amount of $1,078.81, which is the amount on the amended property tax assessment, which we received on June 16,” said Kane. “There was such a mix up with dates from when we built the facility, to when it was completed, to the deadline for when our tax exemption form needed to be submitted. We were under the impression that it needed to be submitted when the building was completed. When we were occupying it, we found out it was supposed to be November of the previous tax year.”
Following discussion with Alberta Municipal Affairs and review of the Municipal Government Act and Community Organization Property Tax Exemption Regulation, administration determined that under Sec. 362(1)(N)(II) of the MGA, the TGFC’s assessment should be pro-rated. The assessed value would be taxable only for the amount of time the TGFC owned the land and would be exempt from the time the town purchased the land (March 9, 2015), leaving an amended tax levy of $1,078.81.
According to information in the RFD (Request for Decision), the town will also pay the TGFC’s portion of the school requisition in the amount of $257.38, and the senior’s requisition in the amount of $5.51, for a total of $262.89.
Referencing the previous deal cut between the club and the town for construction of the new gymnastics facility, and endorsed by town council following a 4-3 split vote, Coun. Randy Sparks remarked that the TGFC have asked for enough from the taxpayers of the Town of Taber.
“I know this might seem like a small price, but the Town of Taber, and the taxpayers of the Town of Taber, have been very good to the Taber Gymnastics Fitness Club up to this point, using taxation dollars at first to build this facility. This is a small price to pay — these taxes — for the awesome facility the gymnastics club has there. I just can’t support the motion at this point.”