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General News · 22nd September 2018
Foreshore leaseholders on Cortes Island have been promised an exemption to the hall tax, but will politicians follow through on that promise? If the discussion at the SRD Board meeting last summer is any indication, foreshore lease exemptions are dead in the water.

According to the SRD Board meeting minutes from June 18, 2018, Director Anderson moved, “THAT if a Cortes Hall Tax Service is established and a parcel tax bylaw is crafted that it exempt foreshore leases from any parcel tax collection.” Fellow board member Andy Adams seconded this motion. After some discussion on whether it was even possible to exempt foreshore leases, “With consent from the seconder the Chair permitted the mover [Director Anderson] to withdraw the motion.”

The board discussion at that meeting made it quite clear why the motion was withdrawn and why a foreshore lease exemption on Cortes exists only in the realm of fantasy fiction.

Electoral Area C director Jim Abram said even though a SRD report assumed foreshore leases could be exempt, he’d never heard of such a thing. He later said foreshore leases are a regional district issue and that if leases on Cortes get an exemption then he will get calls of discrimination from other leaseholders.

Foreshore lease exemptions will require another bylaw if the hall tax passes. It is a case of -- pass the tax and trust me to get you an exemption later. If you believe that, I have a bridge I can sell you.