LNCDA char­ity sta­tus re­voked after 33 years

The Victoria Standard - - Local News - CAROLYN BAR­BER

It was a somber room­ful at the Lit­tle Nar­rows Com­mu­nity Cen­tre the evening of Dec. 18 as the Ex­ec­u­tive Com­mit­tee for Lit­tle Nar­rows Com­mu­nity De­vel­op­ment As­so­ci­a­tion (LNCDA) broke some dis­ap­point­ing news to local res­i­dents.

Calvin Macin­nis (Pres­i­dent), Brenda Mac­neil (Vice Pres­i­dent), Ge­orgina Ma­cleod (Sec­re­tary), and Johnny An­gus Math­e­son (Trea­surer) in­formed the roughly twenty gath­ered that the Canada Rev­enue Agency (CRA) re­voked LNCDA’S sta­tus as a char­i­ta­ble or­ga­ni­za­tion (ef­fec­tive Mar. 3, 2014) for fail­ing to file its taxes. LNCDA last filed a tax re­turn in 2011. Mac­neil read aloud CRA cor­re­spon­dence out­lin­ing the con­se­quences of fail­ing to file and the re­main­ing steps the as­so­ci­a­tion must now take to avoid sher­iff seizure and sale of the LNCDA as­sets. As­sets in­clude the Lit­tle Nar­rows Com­mu­nity Cen­tre and the Iona Fire Depart­ment sub­sta­tion.

“We have ab­so­lutely noth­ing. The next time we want to have a ben­e­fit, or we want to have a Christ­mas so­cial, or what­ever, we have ab­so­lutely noth­ing. That’s the sit­u­a­tion we're in right now. That's ter­ri­ble. It's devastating that we've come to this point. I don't see that there is a way out. But we need to know where we're go­ing to go from here,” said one local res­i­dent turn­ing to oth­ers in the room for in­put.

A char­i­ta­ble or­ga­ni­za­tion whose sta­tus is re­voked must pay a re­vo­ca­tion tax equal to 100% of the value of all re­main­ing as­sets un­less they ap­ply for, and re­gain, char­i­ta­ble sta­tus. When the LNCDA re-ap­plied, they learned their man­date fell out­side the CRA’S four el­i­gi­bil­ity cat­e­gories - re­liev­ing poverty, ad­vanc­ing ed­u­ca­tion, ad­vanc­ing re­li­gion, or other pur­poses ben­e­fit­ing the com­mu­nity (see the Gov­ern­ment of Canada’s “Gen­eral re­quire­ments for char­i­ta­ble reg­is­tra­tion”, is­sued Nov. 2, 2012). The as­so­ci­a­tion is now left with only one choice: pay the re­vo­ca­tion tax of $214,033 or do­nate the prop­erty to an el­i­gi­ble or­ga­ni­za­tion that would keep the prop­erty in the char­i­ta­ble sec­tor.

The ex­ec­u­tive com­mit­tee be­lieves the prop­erty value is lower than the re­vo­ca­tion tax eval­u­ated by the CRA. The group has en­listed the help of Paul Harvey of Est­mere to ar­range for a re­assess­ment, and is await­ing re­sults.

For now, as­sets ap­pear safe from sher­iff seizure as long as the ex­ec­u­tive com­mit­tee demon­strates progress to­ward do­nat­ing the as­so­ci­a­tion’s as­sets to el­i­gi­ble or­ga­ni­za­tions. Mac­neil is tasked with check­ing in with CRA on a monthly ba­sis. The ex­ec­u­tive also plans to reach out to their elected rep­re­sen­ta­tives in a last-ditch ef­fort to re­verse the process.

The LNCDA be­came a reg­is­tered char­ity on Jan. 1, 1981. Ac­cord­ing to the as­so­ci­a­tion’s 2011 Reg­is­tered Char­ity In­for­ma­tion Re­turn, its pro­gram­ming in­cludes op­er­at­ing a year-round com­mu­nity cen­tre, pro­vid­ing recre­ational fa­cil­i­ties, beach, tennis, bas­ket­ball court & boat launch, op­er­at­ing a year-round first re­sponse fire and res­cue shel­ter, and con­duct­ing a fund rais­ing ac­tiv­i­ties.

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