For the first time in a long time, Ray Cormie has a big smile on his face. The President of the Royal Canadian Legion 212 in LaSalle says his organization will be able to pay some of the back taxes it owes the City of Montreal. In doing so, the legion will remain open to its 300 members.
At a council meeting held on October 15, the Borough of LaSalle signed a contract with the legion to lease space to a number of community groups including a seniors’ bridge club and a youth group. The contract will mean an additional $24,000 annually for the Bouvier Street branch. The deal runs until December 31, 2019.
« It looks promising, a whole lot better than it did a few weeks ago. It’s a win-win situation for everyone involved, » says Cormie.
Three fundraisers were held this month which are also helping the branch financially.
The Legion owes the City of Montreal property taxes for 2017 and 2018. With penalty fees and interest factored in, Cormie says the total bill could be a whopping $70,000. The building’s taxes spiked in recent years after the organization lost its non-profit tax status in 2013.
Legion members are asking the <@Li>Commission Municipale du Québec<@$p>, the provincial body that oversees tax issues for organizations in Quebec, to review the building’s tax status.
« It’s an on-going process. We’ve won the battle but we still have to win the war, » Cormie says.
The legion has received support in its efforts from LaSalle MP David Lametti, LaSalle borough mayor Manon Barbe and Verdun city councillor Sterling Downey.