Bill 29 Expands Tax Exemptions for Independent Schools

The BC Legislature has given first reading to Bill 29 – 2015, the Property Taxation (Exemptions) Statutes Amendment Act, 2015 (“Bill 29”). If it becomes law, Bill 29 will repeal and replace the language of subsection 220(1)(l) of the Community Charter, and subsection 15(1)(o) of the Taxation (Rural Area) Act. In its current form, the language of those sections only provides tax exemption for the building comprising an independent school, and the land on which the building sits. Under the proposed language, the tax exemption will extend to surrounding land and improvements used for school purposes, including playing fields, playgrounds and athletic facilities, storage, maintenance and administrative facilities, dormitories, parking lots, walkways, and roads.