Council has given a its mark of approval to a series of discretionary tax property tax exemptions for the 2014 year, while opting to deny requests from some organizations for cash-in-lieu of taxes.
On Monday, council directed city staff to begin work on a bylaw to allow for the 2014 tax breaks. The bylaw must pass before Oct. 31 for the permissive tax exemptions to be valid.
The tax requests that came before council were first considered by the grants advisory committee, chaired by Coun. Diana Johnstone.
Council endorsed all of the committee's recommendations. Included in the list is a 20 per cent property tax break for the Radio Malaspina Society, which leases a building at 25 Front St.
Religious groups are slated to receive full property tax exemptions, including the Redeemed Christian Church of God, the Lighthouse Bible Baptist Church and the Nanaimo Church of the Nazarene.
Council also approved a $60 grant to St. Paul's Anglican Church to cover security costs.
Council also voted with committee recommendations to deny some tax exemption requests, voting against a request for tax exemption from the Nanaimo Gymnastics School and the Nanaimo Economic Development Corporation.
Councillors also rejected requests for cash-in-lieu of taxes for 2013.
The list includes the Radio Malaspina Society ($12,600) and the Nanaimo Gymnastics School ($17,431).
Coun. Bill McKay said he was concerned the tax exemptions will be approved before city budget discussions wrapped up, meaning officials will have less "flexibility" going forward.
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