Council can’t decide on tax exemption request

Town council will have to revisit a request for property tax exemption after hearing a non-profit agency rents the building.

Town council will have to revisit a request for property tax exemption after hearing a non-profit agency rents the building.

The request came from Murray Wedin, of 103435 Developments, owner of the Wedin’s Professional Building, to town council Tuesday, Jan. 13 during the regular council meeting.

Wedin asked for a 2015 property tax exemption as the Ponoka Parent Link Centre, a not-for-profit agency, rents from him on 5012 48 Avenue.

Administration recommended the request be denied as non-profits are eligible for exemption only if they own the building they operate in.

Coun. Carla Prediger agreed with administration and suggested approving the request would set a precedent for other landlords renting to non-profit agencies but Coun. Teri Underhill disagreed.

She says there are some for profit groups that rent property from the Town of Ponoka at low rates. “I don’t know if we haven’t already opened that door.”

Mayor Rick Bonnett said he was on the fence with the decision because he feels the Ponoka Parent Link Centre offers vital services to the community. “You’re sitting on a group that has done great things for the Town of Ponoka.”

Bonnett asked program co-ordinator Andrea Ramage about the centre and she replied that the rate they pay is less than market value. “It’s an all-inclusive and it is unbelievably generous.”

“He’s basically giving the space to the families of Ponoka,” said Ramage.

She added before moving they did look at public property such as the Provincial Building but there was no vacancy there.

Coun. Sandra Lyon said the Parent Link Centre also approached the town on a different building. “This was the same group that approached us last year for the Hudson’s Green (Nature and Activity Centre) and we denied them.”

Council defeated the request to deny tax exemption, which means it will have to revisit the matter for a decision.

Mayor Bonnet, Councillors Tim Falkiner, Lyon and Underhill voted against denying the request and Councillors Marc Yaworski, Loanna Gulka and Marc Yaworski voted in favour of denying the request.

Council denies a request to reverse tax penalties

A request from Philip Gormley to reverse tax penalties of $417.66 was denied.

Council received the request during their regular meeting after hearing that Gormlet purchased a modular home on #58 6205 54 Street in 2012. He did pay all tax arrears once he realized the error but hoped to have the penalties reversed

After reading that Gormley was advised to register with the Town of Ponoka at the time of purchase but did not, council unanimously agreed that he should pay the penalties.