By Tracey Arial
Last month, Joanne Proulx, Fred Jennings and Joseph Pugliese took a cheque for $52,880.80 to the LaSalle borough office.
Instead, they’ll be scrambling to continue paying property taxes, which are now ten times what they were in 2012. The non-profit lost the right to reduce their property taxes under Subsection 204(10) of the Municipal Tax Act last year, after they were unsuccessful at proving that every inch of the building they occupy is used for purposes that the Quebec Government recognizes as charitable.
Several Legions have found this exercise difficult. The Legion branch in Verdun downsized, in part due to difficulties in paying the taxes they owed. At least one branch in Laval disbanded. Other non-profits, including Pointe Claire Curling Club, successfully retained their status despite arguments by City of Montreal lawyers.
Branch 212 in LaSalle hopes that they will be able to requalify for tax-exempt status by the time the 2016 tax bill arrives.
In the meantime, withdrawing enough money from the bank to write a cheque to the City of Montreal was the first official action by Proulx, who became treasurer of the branch on the first of April.
LaSalle’s borough clerk politely registered the payment, although she had to check with her manager about how to properly indicate that the bill was paid “under protest.”
“Now we have to start collecting funds to pay our 2015 taxes,” said Proulx, after the cheque was accepted by the borough. “That’s going to be a challenge.”
To help the Legion raise funds, drop off a cheque at the bar at 7771 rue Bouvier or call  365-0595.