Regional hospital district continuing to seek property taxes from non-Indigenous Tk'emlups homeowners | iNFOnews | Thompson-Okanagan's News Source

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Regional hospital district continuing to seek property taxes from non-Indigenous Tk'emlups homeowners

June 21, 2021 - 7:30 AM

The Thompson Nicola Regional District will continue its efforts to have Tk'emlups te Secwepemc fund the regional hospital district with non-member property taxes.

In a June 17 regional district board meeting, Chair of the Thompson Regional Hospital District Ken Christian announced his intention to bring the conversation to the Provincial Health Minister Adrian Dix.

"We are looking for non-Indigenous locatees, who have properties there, and I see little difference between Sun Rivers, Rivershore and Tobiano, except that Tobiano and Rivershore pay hospital tax and Sun Rivers doesn't," Christian said in the Thursday meeting. "This is not to cast aspersion on Kupi7 Casimir. If they are contributing to provincial taxes in the amount said, then I'm looking to the province of B.C. to offset the hospital district for that amount of money."

Kukpi7 (Chief) Rosanne Casimir responded to the hospital district's request to contribute property taxes in a letter dated June 8. Her first reason as to why was because seven times the taxes that are kept within the Tk'emlups te Secwepemc community is actually dispersed to other governments.

READ MORE: Tk'emlups says no to funding hospital district through non-member property taxes

"We estimate the amount to taxation avoided from the Sun Rivers development to be about a quarter of a million dollars per year," Christian said.

Property taxes at Sun Rivers are comparable to those in Kamloops' Juniper subdivision, according to Christian.

Director Mel Rothenburger also said that previous discussions between the band and City of Kamloops had determined that Sun Rivers property taxes would remain comparable to Kamloops properties, to ensure there was neither a penalty nor a tax benefit for Sun Rivers homeowners.

"The original intent of taxation between Sun Rivers and the City of Kamloops was that they be equitable, in terms of dollar amount and they would pay approximately the same amount," Rothenburger said. "I think it's broader than just that they're there and they don't pay hospital taxes."

READ MORE: Former CAO was, by far, TNRD's highest paid staff member last year

The issue was first brought to the Tk'emlups Band Council with a letter at the end of December 2020. The Thompson Regional Hospital District, which helps fund large capital projects like RIH improvements through regional taxes, sought to have the Band Council attach hospital taxes to the 2021 tax year.

Citing a variety of reasons, including a lack of formal representation on the regional district board, Casimir declined their request.

The motion put forth by Director Christian on June 17 passed, and the regional hospital district will make efforts to bring this conversation to the Ministry of Health for resolution. The goal, as stated by Christian, will be to have property taxes already paid by Sun Rivers homeowners distributed to the regional hospital district.

To contact a reporter for this story, email Levi Landry or call 250-819-3723 or email the editor. You can also submit photos, videos or news tips to the newsroom and be entered to win a monthly prize draw.

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News from © iNFOnews, 2021

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