LaSalle Legion Branch 212 receives $47,000 tax bill

By Tracey Arial

The LaSalle Branch 212 on Bouvier Street received a property tax bill from the City of Montreal for $47,000 last Monday morning.

They gave us a credit for the taxes we already paid,” said Fred Jennings, current president of the branch. “We paid $3,700 for 2013 and $3,834 for 2014. Why are they sending a bill for our taxes when we’re still waiting for a hearing about our appeal?”

The bill dates from June 28, 2013, when Legion 212 had its tax exempt status removed by administrative judge Jacques Lareau from Quebec’s municipal commission. At the end of 2013, the Legion got a letter making the decision retroactive to the beginning of the year, just as it began appealing the initial decision.

No date for the Commission to hear the appeal has been set.

The demand is coming at a difficult time for the organization. For the first time since its inception, it has a mortgage on its building due to a $65,000 roof repair last year.

Legion member Joseph Pugliese brought the issue to the LaSalle borough council meeting Monday evening. Mayor Manon Barbe mentioned that defending its role as a non-profit is a necessary process, but she promised that the borough will assist the Legion in its efforts to prove its continued services to the community.

Jennings says that the Legion lost their initial case between their financial statements did not make donations to charitable organizations such as the Poppy Fund clear. Their appeal documents corrected that deficiency in addition to listing the community organizations that use Legion resources for free.

He’s confident that the organization will be able to overturn the commission judge decision and he’s hoping that the City of Montreal will agree to defer the new property taxes until that process has concluded.

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