A very interesting issue came before Council on Monday, January 6th. The Jewish Community Centre (JCC) was asking Council to extend the tax-exempt status it was granted on its property in 1960 to include additional adjacent property the JCC was considering purchasing and turning into green space. This was an interesting issue to be sure. For me–as one of two Councillors who voted against the extension of tax exempt status–the central issue was equality: the path to tax exempt status should be the same for all organizations. Here’s the critical fact: community organizations seeking tax exemption have to go through MPAC–an independent body established by the Province of Ontario–and NOT city council. Most exceptions to that standard practice were granted before 1970…long before MPAC was established in 1997. Hence, even though the JCC does exceptional work for the betterment of our community, my decision was based on the fact that the same process should apply to all organizations.
Here is an article from the Windsor Star that summarizes Council’s decision: article.