Several Terrace churches will be paying property taxes next year after an audit by the provincial government found they’ve been earning an income by renting out portions of buildings.
The audit determined the Terrace Evangelical Free Church at 3302 Sparks was using property valued at $26,000 for commercial purposes, something that will mean paying taxes of $228.
The Anglican church on Lakelse Ave. is renting out a portion of a building worth $3,700 for a daycare, something that will cost it $102 a year while the Alliance church on Agar is to pay $31 a year for using $1,000 of property, also for a daycare.
Officials working for the BC Assessment Authority, the agency which sets the values of properties and buildings which are then used by governments to set tax rates, conducted the audit earlier this year.
Council members heard of the audit and its meaning when they met Sept. 8.
They were also told the sale of property belonging to other churches, for example Christ Lutheran Church, means that property will also now be taxed. The audit and sales activity means the city will have to revise its 10-year tax exemption bylaw.
By provincial statute in B.C., there’s a mandatory tax exemption from property tax for buildings that are places of worship and for the land upon which those buildings sit.
Municipalities can further provide exemptions, if they wish, for land that surrounds a building containing a place of worship.