The Hallmark Heritage Society
Posted 22 November 2014 - 09:16 AM
^In case that link dies, the story is about Hallmark taking over Craigflower School:
VICTORIA - The Hallmark Heritage Society becomes the new tenant of the historic Craigflower Schoolhouse effective March 1, 2015, Forests, Lands and Natural Resource Operations Minister, Steve Thomson, announced today.
The society intends to use the building for community heritage education and outreach consistent with its original use as a school for the area surrounding Craigflower Farm.
The Hallmark Heritage Society was the successful proponent from an Expression of Interest that the Province advertised in summer 2014. The society’s proposal is consistent with the conservation plan for the site developed with the District of Saanich and neighbouring communities.
The Hallmark Heritage Society is the oldest heritage preservation society in the Capital Regional District. Established in 1973, this non-profit society advocates the preservation, conservation, and restoration of heritage assets and works towards a greater public awareness and understanding of heritage.
The province owns and operates 23 provincial heritage properties. Craigflower School is one of the 11 that is open to the public. While owned by the province, the heritage properties are managed by third parties.
"[Randall's] aesthetic poll was more accurate than his political acumen"
-Tom Hawthorne, Toronto Globe and Mail
Posted 20 January 2017 - 09:58 AM
A local society is lobbying for changes to the provincial tax code after the heritage building that houses its office received its first tax bill since 1855.
To put this into historical perspective, Vancouver Island was still a British colony, and Confederation was still more than a decade away.
Ken Johnson, president of the Hallmark Heritage Society, says his society faces a tax bill of almost $3,000 for the Craigflower Schoolhouse assessed at $138,700. About 60 per cent of the bill would go towards the District of Saanich, the rest towards other authorities.
Without knowing it, by signing a long-term lease the society assumed de-facto ownership of the building, says Johnson. It now finds itself in same category of businesses that pay taxes on revenues generated on provincial Crown land like mining and forestry companies.
This categorization runs contrary to the nature of the society, said Johnson.
“We are not a business,” he said. “Hallmark Heritage Society is a not-for-profit registered charity.”
Could the society have been aware of this change of status? No, said Johnson. The relevant legislation does not speak of situation like the society’s.
Johnson said the society could have applied for a municipal tax exemption, but the deadline for filing was July 31, 2016. However the society did not find out that it was being assessed until January 2017.
“I cannot file for something that I don’t know is happening,” he said, adding that the society is eligible to apply for a tax exemption next year.
The tax bill — $2,809 to be exact — poses a major financial burden for the society and its annual budget of about $10,000.
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