Prince Rupert Indigenous Housing Society was denied a tax exemption for low-income units in the former Anchor Inn. (Keili Bartlett / The Northern View)

In Our Opinion: In all fairness

Why the City of Prince Rupert should rethink a tax exemption for a low-income housing project

After being denied a permissive property tax exemption, the folks at Anchor Inn should seriously consider affiliating with a religion because then the city might actually consider cutting the low-income housing project some slack.

Places of worship, seniors housing, schools, cultural and recreational centres all get a break. That includes Annunciation School, which is exempted $36,794, and another $3,754 for its gym, while other properties include $4,982 for Jim Pattison’s Canfisco boat launch, and $1,200 for the Rod and Gun Club.

Mayor Lee Brain said the reason the affordable housing project was denied was in the name of fairness, lumping Prince Rupert Indigenous Housing Society in with all other residential property owners.

While places of worship and seniors homes are included in the permissive property tax exemption, as well as a few exceptions, low-income housing units are not. BC Housing units, such as the ones being built next to the transition society, and M’akola Housing Society, which manages units for BC Housing, doesn’t receive the tax exemption.

If it’s ultimately an issue of fairness, then why are renters in this region paying more than 50 per cent of their income on housing?

With a busy homeless shelter on Third Avenue West, it’s clear not everyone can afford the average monthly rent, which is now up to $913 for a two bedroom apartment.

READ MORE: Rent continues to rise in Prince Rupert, drops in Terrace

The Northern View has covered the lack of social housing in the city time and again, and in 2016, Mayor Lee Brain said although the city isn’t responsible for housing, he’ll support the construction of more units.

READ MORE: City council tackles the affordable housing shortage

“Our rule is when you want to build, we’ll donate the lot,” he said then.

What he should have added is, and ‘we’ll continue to tax the property.’

A private organization, such as the Indigenous Housing Society, should be encouraged to offer affordable housing in this city. Letting them off $15,250 in property tax exemption would encourage more private groups to take a similar initiative.

Make them the example, not the exception.

READ MORE: Low-income housing denied tax exemption in Prince Rupert

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Just Posted

Sound of Prince Rupert’s cherry trees to be played around the world

Salvaged wood from chopped sakura trees is being crafted into taiko drum sticks

The Postmen collect 45 boxes of supplies for wildfire relief

Prince Rupert donations of food, water and toilet paper to be delivered to Burns Lake first

Coastal police unit operating with half its members

RCMP report to Port Edward council reveals low numbers on the coastal force

In Our Opinion: How to lose an ammonia tank— ask the city

How did a 68kg cylinder of ammonia remain unseen after multiple audits and assessments

Donation drop off tonight for B.C. wildfire victims

The Postmen have set up a three-day depot at the Moose Hall in Prince Rupert for disaster relief

This Week Podcast – Episode 98

From the Prince Rupert Golf Club, catch up on sports, entertainment and news highlights

The Northern View 2018 Readers Choice

Vote online or at the Prince Rupert office before noon on Sept. 7

Red Cross now accepting donations for those impacted by B.C. wildfires

The Canadian Red Cross is asking for help now and in the weeks and months ahead.

B.C. program to educate parents reduces ‘shaken baby syndrome’ by 35%

Period of PURPLE Crying was launched nearly a decade ago

B.C. golfer, just 23, scores the rare albatross

Six-million-to-one shot a first for the Terrace club

Fredericton widow swears at Trudeau during condolence call

Widow of man killed in Fredericton shooting says she swore at Trudeau during condolence call.

Tim Hortons promises leaky lids on coffee cups to be phased out

Tim Hortons looks to rebuild its brand with better lid, new marketing campaign

‘There’s been a lot of devastation:’ man whose family lost homes in B.C. fire

The provincial government declared a state of emergency Wednesday as more than 550 wildfires burn in every corner of B.C.

Capsized tug now out of the water at the mouth of B.C.’s Fraser River

The 19-metre-long George H. Ledcor capsized late Monday.

Most Read