The Trafalgar/Pro Patria Legion Branch #292 is facing a $104,000 bill for its property tax (File contributed/ Google Maps)

The Trafalgar/Pro Patria Legion Branch #292 is facing a $104,000 bill for its property tax (File contributed/ Google Maps)

Last remaining Victoria Legion faces $100,000 property tax bill

The Trafalgar/ Pro Patria Branch can’t afford to operate with such high taxes

The last fully operational Legion in Greater Victoria is facing financial insecurity thanks to a spike in property taxes.

In early June, the Trafalgar/Pro Patria Branch #292 at 411 Gorge Rd. E. received a bill for $104,231.78, a $32,000 jump from the year before.

“It’s just not sustainable, $70,000 was the break for us,” said Angus Stanfield, chairman of the Victoria Remembrance Day Committee and Dominion Vice-President. “We work all year long for the City of Victoria, and on our mind from the beginning to the end is ‘what about the taxes?’”

ALSO READ: Veterans enraged at Victoria suggestion to seek refunds from DND, Veteran’s Affairs for Remembrance Day

The spike comes after the 2019 BC Assessment determined that 35 per cent of the branch’s property value comes form “recreation/not for profit,” equalling over $36,000 in property tax, while 65 per cent comes from “business or other,” totalling more than $67,000, all due on July 2.

A majority of other B.C. Legions municipalities offer a tax relief to the legion branches including in Langley, Sidney and Burnaby which provide full exemptions from the municipal portion of the tax.

In other provinces, including Ontario, taxes are exempt altogether.

ALSO READ: Victoria councillor faces criticism over suggestion to bill military for Remembrance Day

“We’re not a business, we’re a not-for-profit and service organization. As such, it would be $150,000 that we put back into the economy through our poppy fund, gaming fund, and fundraisers,” Stanfield said. “However, now most of the fundraising we do has to go towards taxes.”

Stanfield said that if there isn’t some financial aid the branch will be forced to shut down or possibly move to a neighbouring municipality.

However, the City of Victoria is exploring options to help subsidize some of the costs. In a motion put forward by Couns. Charlayne Thornton-Joe and Marianne Alto, council is seeking to alleviate some of the pressure by providing a temporary grant to make up for the difference. The motion asks for the city to take $36,481.12 from its contingency fund to give to the Pro Patria Legion, and to earmark $40,000 in the city’s 2020 budget for the Legion. This would be followed by a continued annual sum going up by $5,000 per year until 2025, when the funding would be reviewed.

ALSO READ: Victoria Legion goes belly-up due to lack of volunteers

The motion also asks that mayor and council write to the province urging a full exemption of B.C. Legions from property taxes.

Stanfield said that he’s glad to have council’s attention and hopes that something can come together soon.

“I don’t know how we could generate more revenue out of this building than we already are,” Stanfield said. “If the Legion didn’t exist I don’t know how long or if things would be done, right down to the Remembrance Day parade.”

ALSO READ: Future of Esquimalt Legion finally clear

The motion will come forward to the committee of the whole on Thursday, June 27.

It’s coming shortly after councillors received harsh criticism for suggesting that the Department of National Defence and Veteran’s Affairs Canada pay the bill for the city’s Remembrance Day Parade security costs.

nicole.crescenzi@vicnews.com


Send a Tweet: @NicoleCrescenzi

Like us on Facebook  

City of VictoriaRoyal Canadian Legion

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

The public will start to weigh in next month on the possible future uses of Oak Bay Lodge. In the meantime, a request to the province by the City of Victoria to intervene and allow use of at least a portion of the closed facility as temporary shelter space awaits an answer. (Black Press Media file photo)
Oak Bay Lodge redevelopment planning continues, request for temporary use awaits answer

Public consultation on future of CRD-owned site begins next month

Volunteer Anette Akouri is part of a vital service that connects clients to help them be less vulernable. (Saanich Volunteer Services Society)
Saanich volunteers up the friendship calls, grocery deliveries during pandemic

Saanich Volunteer Services Society helping vulnerable residents stay happy, healthy

Island Health has reported a COVID-19 outbreak at Saanich Peninsula Hospital. (Arnold Lim/Black Press)
Four new COVID-19 cases added to Saanich Peninsula Hospital outbreak

Inital round of patient testing is complete, staff testing continues

A rendering of Victoria Wonderland, a drive-thru immersive holiday experience that has been cancelled due to COVID-19. (Courtesy of Transcend Victoria)
Victoria Wonderland drive-thru show cancelled due to COVID-19

Organizers hope to host a similar event, if restrictions allow, in the new year

Motorists wait to enter a Fraser Health COVID-19 testing facility, in Surrey, B.C., on Monday, Nov. 9, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
Another 694 diagnosed with COVID-19 in B.C. Thursday

Three more health care outbreaks, 12 deaths

(AP Photo/Paula Bronstein)
POLL: Has COVID-19 changed your plans for the holidays?

The lights are going up, the stacks of presents under the tree… Continue reading

Anyone with information on any of these individuals is asked to call 1-800-222-TIPS (8477) or visit the website victoriacrimestoppers.ca for more information.
Greater Victoria Crime Stoppers wanted list for the week of Dec. 1

Greater Victoria Crime Stoppers is seeking the public’s help in locating the… Continue reading

Watch Messiah at home with the Sooke Philharmonic

Concert available to stream Dec. 12

Emergency crews used a backhoe loader to clear fire debris from the scene of a fire on Wesley Street Thursday as police and firefighters gathered up propane tanks, stoves and fireplaces used by camp residents to heat tents. (Chris Bush/News Bulletin)
City of Nanaimo dismantles downtown homeless encampment after fire

Four to six tents burned up in Wesley Street fire Thursday, Dec. 3

A demonstrator wears representations of sea lice outside the Fisheries and Oceans Canada offices in downtown Vancouver Sept. 24, demanding more action on the Cohen Commission recommendations to protect wild Fraser River sockeye. (Quinn Bender photo)
First Nations renew call to revoke salmon farm licences

Leadership council implores use of precautionary principle in Discovery Islands

Ten-month-old Aidan Deschamps poses for a photo with his parents Amanda Sully and Adam Deschamps in this undated handout photo. Ten-month-old Aidan Deschamps was the first baby in Canada to be diagnosed with spinal muscular atrophy through Ontario’s newborn screening program. The test was added to the program six days before he was born. THE CANADIAN PRESS/HO, Children’s Hospital Eastern Ontario *MANDATORY CREDIT*
First newborn tested for spinal muscular atrophy in Canada hits new milestones

‘If Aidan had been born any earlier or anywhere else our story would be quite different’

BC Ambulance Services reassures people that the service is well staffed and ready to respond. Photo by Don Bodger
BC Ambulance assures the Island community they’re ‘fully staffed’

‘Paramedics are not limited to a geographical area.’ — BCEHS

(Pixabay)
Canadians’ mental health has deteriorated with the second wave, study finds

Increased substance use one of the ways people are coping

Most Read