City offering property tax relief for ethno-cultural organizations

Charitable or non-profit ethno-cultural organizations that own their own property but are struggling with rising operating costs can apply for property tax relief from the City of St. Catharines.

The City’s new transitional grant program offers ethno-cultural organizations that own property in St. Catharines a grant equal to 50 per cent of the City’s portion of the organization’s property taxes.

Ethno-cultural organizations are those that celebrate cultural heritage and help newcomers and residents establish connections throughout the community.

Grants are only available to groups that own property for the purpose of operating an ethno-cultural centre. Properties that do not operate as ethno-cultural centres are not eligible for tax relief.

“Ethno-cultural organizations in St. Catharines are an important part of the fabric of our community,” said Lisa Read, the City’s manager of billing. “These organizations provide services and programs for newcomers and the diverse communities we have in the Garden City. We want to support these organizations because they help make St. Catharines a more inclusive city to live in.”

To qualify for the program, ethno-cultural organizations must be based and active in St Catharines; be a registered charity in good standing or a non-profit organization; demonstrate sound financial and organizational management practices; have a mandate that promotes public understanding and awareness of ethno-cultural traditions, legacies, language, arts and trade; provide programming or services that are open to the public and publicized city wide; and be up-to-date with payment of property taxes.

Applications for the 2017 tax year are due at City Hall by 4:30 p.m. on Wednesday, Feb. 28. Visit for more information and application forms.



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