Telkwa Senior Housing Society pays taxes, not BC Housing

President of Telkwa Senior Housing Society says taxes paid by volunteers, not BC Housing.

Editor,

In response to the article in the Dec. 13 paper ‘Telkwa applies for internship program,’ your story states Mayor Darcy Repen said B.C. Housing paid the back taxes of $13,000 regarding the Telkwa Seniors Housing Rental units.

I would like to tell you the truth.

Telkwa House is owned by B.C. Housing and Telkwa Senior Housing Society has a contract to manage the rental units for 10 years. We are into our seventh year of managing the senior rental units. All bills and taxes are paid for by our board of seven community volunteers not by B.C. Housing or any other branch of government.

The mix up in taxes came about only because B.C. Assessment thought Telkwa House was one building and was not calculating the assessment on two separate buildings. Next year’s tax bill to the Village of Telkwa will be $9,300 for eight low income senior rental units. The Hazelton units pay $11,000 for 20 rental units. Isn’t that a little odd?

Our rent is controlled by B.C. Housing. Our minimum rent is $325 per month with a maximum rent of $600 a month. Our volunteer board members do not live in any of the units and the Village of Telkwa has no say in the day to day running of the complex.

We are trying to build eight more units which can’t be approved until the Village can supply adequate water. Maybe the Village should spend more time on getting another water tower in order to supply its residents with water and a little less time patting themselves on their back on how we screwed the senior society out of $13,000.

We continuously ask for a tax exemption and are always turned down. If low income seniors housing isn’t a valid tax exemption, what is? The end result is that B.C. Housing does not pay our bills or our property taxes. Telkwa Senior Housing Society pays our own expenses.

John McDivitt

President

Telkwa Senior Housing Society

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