Langley City council rejects proposal to end religious tax exemptions

A proposal to reduce tax exemptions for religious organizations and charities in Langley City failed on Monday evening following concerted protest from local churches. Councillor Rudy Storteboom presented, for discussion, a motion that would have reduced property tax exemptions for 29 church and non-profit properties. No one seconded the motion.

Currently, the Government of BC provides automatic tax breaks on houses of worship while municipalities can create exemptions for other properties, such as parking lots. The proposal before Langley City would only have affected this latter category.

Ian Bushfield, Executive Director, BC Humanist Association:

Cities should be free to revisit these automatic tax exemptions that are granted to groups just because they are religious. Other towns and cities across BC, including VictoriaCoquitlam and Gibsons, facing similar budgetary pressures, have discussed and ended tax breaks for insular and sectarian organizations that don't give back to the wider community. It's disappointing to hear that special interests pressured the Langley Council to not even consider this proposal.

For more information see coverage in The Langley Times and The Langley Advance.

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  • commented 2015-12-01 12:47:45 -0800
    Thank you Fritz Schulze

    My point exactly “for the service of our neighbour” is bullshit.
  • commented 2015-12-01 12:44:39 -0800
    RCC? Roman Catholic Church? Burnish their reputation? How is that possible when they move to immunity convicted pedophiles and move them into a position of power in Italy. RCC is a pedophile protection network. Their front man is a shill.
  • commented 2015-11-26 17:10:04 -0800
    This was covered by Life Site News with the title “Revolt over plan to tax churches forces Canadian city to back down.” The whole article indicates that all the arguments were an appeal to emotion: “The responses from the churches submitted to the City Council was [sic] heartbreaking.”

    What’s heart breaking is the picture in the Langley Times of the large sprawling RCC church built using parishioners money. If that church were to close and be sold, the money would go to the diocese not the parishioners. Rev. Lawrence Donnelly assertion that

    “Part of our mandate, the churches are there for the worship of God and for the service of our neighbour. And we do this without looking for thanks, without looking for remuneration, but just out of love for our fellow man who stand before us in need. We do what we can to help them.”

    brings up the question, “what is the other part of your mandate?” and can be countered with "the remuneration comes in the form of burnishing the RCC’s tarnished reputation.

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