City council has approved a resolution that will give not-for-profit organizations a 25 per cent discount on any official plan or zoning bylaw application fee.
Council discussed the possible discount for not-for-profits organization at Monday night’s meeting. The original resolution proposed by At-Large Coun. Aldo Ruberto requested that not-for-profit organizations be allowed anywhere from 25 per cent to 100 per cent on any official plan or zoning bylaw amendment application fee.
The original resolution failed to get much traction. Council moved to change the resolution to allow up to 25 per cent along with a to-be-written policy and eliminated the option for a 100 per cent discount all together.
Ruberto argued that the not-for-profit organizations do a lot for the city as well as save taxpayers money and said that they should allow a 100 per cent discount.
“This whole resolution is to help none-profits help people,” Aldo said before the vote. “They save us money and provide a service that we would otherwise have to pay for. The original policy was introduced in 1979. That’s 22 years ago. Non-profits have grown because of the demand. Some of those organizations need more.”
He said council would choose which organizations get the discount.
Northwood Coun. Mark Bentz disagreed and questioned the merit of giving anywhere from 25 per cent to 100 per cent as well as how council would be able to determine who gets what.
He said he didn’t want city council to become a “dog and pony” show for couns’. favourite charity.
“It should be a fixed number so it is a policy and not a flavour of the day,” Bentz said.
At-Large Coun. Ken Boshcoff said giving 25 per cent is a generous offer and giving out an over the top discount would send a bizarre message to the public. He said it would be like a free-for-all.
Council also approved the 2012 Tax Policy.
The policy capped tax increases for commercial, industrial and multi-residential property classes at the greater of 10 per cent over the previous year and five per cent of the Current Value Assessment. The policy will also put a threshold of $250 on properties having final capping adjustments that are less than $250.
Council also approved Westfort Coun. Joe Virdiramo’s recommendation that the city send a letter to Prime Minister Stephen Harper about his withdrawal from the Kyoto Protocol Argreement.