Thursday, August 9, 2012 Nanaimo News Bulletin
Nanaimo properties safe from TLC struggles I
LAND CONSERVANCY working on major restructuring as solution to ongoing financial troubles.
BY TOBY GORMAN
Under the Local Government Act, property owners have one year The Land Conser- after a property is sold va n cy o f B r i t i s h at a tax sale to redeem Columbia is working its property by puron a major restructur- chasing it back and ing effort to create a paying the outstandmore efficient organi- ing taxes. zation. Across the province, Alastair Craighead, TLC is involved with chairman of the TLC 300 projects totalling board, in a message about 48,500 hectares. to supportOf its 50 ers, states: properties in “there is not municipal tax enough revareas, 33 have enue coming exemptions in to sustain because of our current TLC’s charioperations. table status Part of the and because problem has most properbeen the ecoties are open nomic turto the public. ADRIENNE moil that has Properties depressed owned by funding opportunities TLC near Nanaimo ... And another factor include Wildwood, is the collapse in pro- widely recognized as a vincial and federal model for ecoforestry, government grants. and 56 hectares of We also accept respon- riparian land on the sibility for carrying lower Nanaimo River. operational costs that Neither of those led to an unacceptable properties owe back backlog in our short- taxes and Wildwood’s ter m commitments mortgage was paid off and payables.” last year, though there The organization is no known covenant failed to pay taxes on on the property. several of its propThe Nanaimo River erties for more than property, which is three years, which part of a 99-year lease means some of those agreement with the proper ties can be Regional District of entered into a tax sale Nanaimo, is not taxin late September. able land, though it THE NEWS BULLETIN
is not protected from being sold. Craighead confirmed with the News Bulletin that neither Wildwood nor the Nanaimo River property are in any danger. He said the total tax bill owing on the Wildwood property is $333 and does not have to be paid this year. The total amount the TLC must pay before Sept. 24 in delinquent taxes on 24 properties provincewide is $12,150.62. “We will have no trouble paying it off,”
said Craighead. Tax sales are generally held in B.C. municipalities on the third Monday of September. Gail Adrienne, executive director of the Nanaimo and Area Land Trust, said TLC’s good intentions to protect and preserve as much property as possible has led to its current financial situation. “It was all with good intent, but they’ve taken on some major land acquisitions, cer-
tainly way beyond anything we’ve attempted to do,” she said. While both organizations have experienced government funding cuts and a reduction in donations, Adrienne said NALT’s board has acted much more cautiously. “Within our means,” she said. In an address on the TLC website, Craighead said the board is meeting this week to address its financial issues. Some responses will include reducing
monthly costs, which will likely include staffing cuts, restructuring all operations, capping debt, and engaging members and donors to contribute more money. “We need to shift our focus from growth toward ensuring longterm sustainability,” wrote Craighead. “We should be under no illusion. This is the most difficult financial situation that TLC has ever faced.” Created in 1997, TLC is a non-profit chari-
table land trust that works throughout the province protecting habitat for plants, animals and natural communities as well as properties with historical, cultural, scientific or recreational values. email@example.com
What do you think? Give us your comments by fax at 250-753-0788 or by e-mail: editor@ nanaimobulletin. com. Be sure to spell out your first and last names.
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August 09, 2012 edition of the Nanaimo News Bulletin