No tax break for Army Navy Air Force Veterans

Abbotsford council has denied the group a tax exemption of about $3,000.

Henry Braun

The Matsqui unit of the Army Navy Air Force (ANAF) Veterans in Canada will not be receiving a tax break from the city.

Council denied the group a tax exemption worth approximately $3,300.

Each year, the city allows tax exemptions for qualifying associations. The groups can qualify under several categories including not-for-profit, local government, athletic or service clubs and religious, private schools or revitalization.

The city will allow exemptions ($1.52 million worth) for the same groups that qualified last year, but have denied any new requests.

A staff report recommended denying applications from BC Teen Challenge, Creative Centre, Elizabeth Fry Society, John Howard Society of the Lower Mainland, LIFE Recovery Association, Mennonite Historical Society of BC and Galaxy Bowl. However, because the Abbotsford Legion already receives a tax exemption, the recommendation was made to approve the ANAF request.

Coun. Henry Braun said in the absence of a policy, it is difficult to decide who should and should not receive a tax exemption. He compared it to “picking winners and losers.”

“I just felt that on principle, I couldn’t, as much as I would like to from an emotional point of view, support this,” said Braun.

But Coun. John Smith disagreed and said he supports giving assistance to the ANAF.

Smith told council that his father was thrilled when he told him he was immigrating to Canada because of the brave way young Canadians came to England’s defence during the Second World War.

“Maybe I’m a sentimentalist on this but I’m going to support the vets. These are people who put it on the line and I don’t need a policy,” said Smith.

He called it a nominal amount of money that might help the group be more viable.

Braun said he wanted to make it “crystal clear” that he agreed with everything Smith said about Canadian veterans. However he said that is not the issue before council. He said all the applicants were worthwhile.

“If we approve this, what do we say to the next group that comes before us and says we also would like this tax exemption? What do we do then? Tell them they’re not worthy? That’s the issue for me,” said Braun.

He said there needs to be a policy on how to decide which group gets a tax exemption.

The ANAF request was defeated 5-4 with Braun and Couns. Dave Loewen, Bill MacGregor, Simon Gibson and Moe Gill voting against.

Just Posted

Serial killer Robert Pickton transferred to Quebec: victim’s family

Pickton was convicted in December 2007 of six counts of second degree murder

Illness and injury leaving many Abbotsford firefighters unable to work

More than 20 firefighters missed time due to long-term illness or injury last year

Mouat’s Benning signs with UFV wrestling

Benning one of 10 new recruits inked for the fall

Donation of more than $20,000 supports Shine On Legacy Fund

Fund created in memory of Abbotsford Police Const. John Davidson

BREAKING: Fire destroys Chilliwack restaurant

Popular Banners Restaurant goes up in flames Sunday morning.

VIDEO: Canadian toddler caught practising hockey skills in crib

Eli Graveline is getting praise from far and wide as the internet freaks out of cute throwback video

Serial speeder clocked going 138 km/hr in 90 zone

Driver had their vehicle impounded

Man shot dead in Surrey ID’d as hockey coach and father of two

Paul Bennett was ‘a champion for the sport,’ team manager says

Canadian Syrian children’s choir not to attend festival over fears about U.S. travel

Many kids are recent immigrants from countries covered by Trump travel ban

VIDEO: Plane crashes in Langley farm field (updated)

Plane lost power shortly after takeoff, RCMP told

B.C. teacher ends Jeopardy! winning streak, taking home US$69,000

Ali Hasan, from New Westminster, has been gaining fans as a “one-man invasion,” says Alex Trebek

1 man in critical condition after ‘serious’ stabbing in Downtown Eastside: police

Vancouver police say there was an altercation and stabbing appears targeted

Most Read