The Village of Radium Hot Springs passed the motion to exempt The St. Joseph Roman Catholic Church from taxation of lands after three readings of bylaw No. 438 at their Wednesday, October 11th Council meeting.
The vote went to the majority with one councillor opposing it.
The bylaw “provides for a permissive exemption from taxation of lands held by a religious organization and used for purposes of public worship.”
According to council documents, the permissive exemption will include four lots owned by the church in the District.
The majority of council were in favour of maintaining the status quo, with Mayor Clara Reinhardt pointing out the exemption dates back to the Confederation.
Councillor Mike Gray was in opposition of the vote, suggesting that other groups in the community make significant contributions as well.
“I philosophically have concerns about any one group getting tax exemptions when others are entitled to one. There are many other groups that make significant contributions to our community that don’t get the same treatment,” he said.
Ms. Reinhardt, acknowledged that questions regarding the exemption have been fielded by their office, but she held firm while reinforcing the reciprocal nature of the agreement.
“Over time, the partnership with the Catholic Church has been a good partnership,” she said.