Who deserves a property tax exemption?

Who deserves a property tax exemption? The Island Corridor Foundation isn’t some small organization trying to survive.

As you will have seen on page 2, the Island Corridor Foundation, the not-for-profit organization that owns all former Canadian Pacific and Esquimalt and Nanaimo railway track on Vancouver Island, is seeking a property tax exemption from the town of Lake Cowichan.

While I don’t have an issue with not-for-profits in general seeking ways in which they can cut costs, this story got my back up a little. The railway is important as provincial plans to invest funds in the organization to restore a section of the rail will help create an option for commuters and travelers on Vancouver Island. However, the taxes they pay on the lands they own do get put back into the municipalities on whose lands they run through.

But this isn’t some small organization trying to survive. The ICF has outside, U.S. even, corporations contracted to operate the track, both freight and passenger. I’m sure that the ICF, through its efforts to secure provincial funding to restore the line, as well as through these outside, corporate operators, generates enough revenue to allow for it to pay its fair share into local infrastructure, fire protection, and general administration.

—editor@lakecowichangazette.com