A new law seeks to exempt Canadian Legion halls in the province from property taxes.
The Ontario government announced earlier this week it plans to table legislation “shortly” that would ensure no Legion in the province has to pay property taxes.
In Collingwood, the local Legion, Branch 63, is already exempt from property taxes. Both the Town of Collingwood and the County of Simcoe have already waived taxes for the last 11 to 12 years, according to Legion president Rob Graham.
“It does make a big impact,” said Graham, adding the tax bill “was significant.”
The Collingwood legion was built in the 1970s, on property at the corner of Ontario Street and Pretty River Parkway.
“A lot of legions throughout the country are situated on valuable land,” said Graham. “This would certainly make a big impact for other legions that are paying property tax.”
According to a press release sent out by the Ontario government, there are “many” Legion halls in Ontario, like Collingwood, already exempt from paying municipal property tax.
“The government’s commitment is that all property occupied by branches in the Ontario Command of the Royal Canadian Legion would be exempt from paying property tax starting in 2019,” states the press release.
"I've been lucky enough to meet and talk with hundreds of veterans across our province. They are rightly proud of their service," said Ford. "This is just one example of how our government will do all we can to give their dedication to upholding our values and our safety the respect it deserves.
There are currently more than 1,400 branches of The Royal Canadian Legion in the country with 270,000 members. There are 400 branches throughout Ontario with a membership of about 100,000 people, according to the press release.