Town administration considers tax implications for gym club land

Town council discusses GST for the Ponoka Gymnastics and Trampoline Club.

While the Ponoka Gymnastics and Trampoline Club awaits the final transfer of land title from the Town of Ponoka, expected to be signed soon, there is also the consideration of GST based on the value of the land.

Town administration presented information on the land Tuesday, Oct. 13 during a regular meeting stating it is still subject to GST at fair market value.

Acting CAO Betty Quinlan, who was covering while CAO Rachel Kunz was away on vacation, said the club will have to do a self-assessment to determine how much GST should be paid.

While there was no request for decision from administration, there were two options for council to consider covering any potential GST liability: advise the club of the need to submit a GST calculation and when that number arrives, the town provide it as a cash donation. The other option was to calculate a GST liability estimate and then donate the cash to the club at that point.

Coun. Teri Underhill asked why the question of GST was presented to council in the first place suggesting the GST could have been included in the transfer. “All we had to do was just an offer to purchase and have the GST included.”

She added that to properly determine whether the club should pay GST, a ruling from Canada Revenue Agency is needed. Coun. Sandra Lyon added that providing money to the club as a form of GST donation may be premature as the gym club is a non-profit organization.

Coun. Loanna Gulka made the motion to contact revenue Canada for a ruling on the GST. The motion passed with councillors Carla Prediger, Sandra Lyon and Tim Falkiner opposed.

Council tables long-term facility rental agreement

In an effort to hear from user groups and businesses, town council unanimously tabled a motion to approve a long-term facility rental policy.

One concern with the proposed policy expressed by Coun. Carla Prediger was over wording stating a space should be leased or rented. She suggested it was unclear in the proposed policy. “I think it’s easy to say the Kinsmen (Centre) could be leased, the arena not; the concession would be leased.”

She suggested there is no clear delineation between commercial or non-profit groups. Wes Amendt, director of community services, suggested those seperations would be outlined in the lease agreement that town staff would deal with.

Underhill suggested that a more concise policy would help town staff in the future. “It’s better to have it set out and if you need to deviate from it, you can,” said Underhill.

Council directed administration to seek input from businesses and community groups and to have them meet during a committee of the whole meeting should they wish to offer suggestions.

Tax penalty forgiveness requests

Council dealt with three tax forgiveness requests with two being denied and one approved.

Quinlan told council that she was developing a question form that will help remove some of the need for council to make decisions on tax penalty forgiveness requests.

The first request was from a resident who requested penalties of $394.67 be forgiven after seeing their bank neglected to apply the home taxes to their new home. Quinlan said notices were also sent to the banks.

Council turned down the request for forgiveness.

The second request, which was also denied, came from Almita Piling for two properties with penalties totalling $831.46. In a letter, the company stated there was a change of address provided but did not realize assessments were on a numbered company.

The third request came from a resident who had a new home transfered in their name after a lenghty illness from the owner at the end of November, 2014. Council approved the tax penalty forgiveness in the amount of $197.72.

Other decisions

Council approved the appointments of individuals to the Airport Development Board.

The appointments are: Dave McPhee, director of operations and property services as the airport manager; Stephen Novak to assist with the airport economic development; Ponoka County Coun. Mark Matejka, for a one-year term; Denise Clark, of the economic development board for a two-year term and David Watson of the Ponoka Flying Club for a two-year term.

Council also approved first reading of the ATCO Gas Franchise agreement to give time for approval through the Alberta Utilities Commission. The term is for 10 years and it is expected to take some months for the commission’s approval to be finalized.

 

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