Chamber tax exemption request denied for second time

For a second time, the Dawson Creek and District Chamber of Commerce's tax exemption request has been denied.

In April, the Dawson Creek and District Chamber of Commerce applied to the City of Dawson Creek for a one-time tax exemption of $10,967. After being told no, the organization doubled down and asked again in June.

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“We received notice today that we do not qualify as this exemption had to be applied for in 2019,” says President Chris Richards in a June letter to the city, asking again for the exemption for the non-profit. The request was again on the City of Dawson Creek’s agenda Monday. Councillor Jerimy Adam Earl spoke to deadlines.

“We’ve been over this. If they wanted to be exempt, they had to apply well in advance,” he noted Monday as city council dealt with the request again.

Richards said the Chamber is faced with financial burdens - that have been a result of the pandemic.

“Our staff are working diligently to offset the financial impact by cutting spends including memberships, travel, professional development, advertising and marketing,” he said, noting to the city that renters from the Chamber are not ponying up rent either.

“That being said, we had three tenants who were not able to pay April, May and June rent. Staff have applied for CECRA but will see only a 50% return as we allowed our tenants to pay no rent with no penalty.”

“The board is requesting that Mayor and Council approve a one-time exemption in the amount of $10,967.88. This exemption would allow the chamber to continue operating during this pandemic and provide the supports to our business community that are desperately needed.”

The request was denied, however city CFO Flavia Rossi Donovan confirmed the city’s deadline is in the previous year.  Mayor Dale Bumstead noted the current application could be considered for 2021.

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