Sudbury city council to consider pitch to make Kivi Park exempt from local taxes
SUDBURY -- Meeting tonight, members of Greater Sudbury's finance committee will decide whether to consider making Kivi Park tax exempt part of their budget deliberations.
The motion from Ward 9 Coun. Deb McIntosh would add Kivi Park to what's known as budget business cases, a collection of staff reports councillors vote on during budget talks that would increase spending or reduce revenue.
In this case, McIntosh is arguing the city's largest park should be exempt from municipal property taxes, which amount to $14,302.65 for 2020.
The park near Long Lake was developed largely through donations from the Fielding family, as well as the work of volunteers. It includes 480 acres of property and features 18 kilometres of groomed cross-country ski and 22 kilometres of snowshoeing trails used in the off season for hiking, mountain biking.
While the park was built through donations, operating costs for 2021 are estimated at $250,000. The park has raised about $100,000 through membership fees, with the remainder being covered through fundraising and sponsorships.
Last year, the city gave the park a grant of $13,862 to cover its municipal taxes, with an eye on using revenue from the new hotel room tax to cover future tax bills. However, the park doesn't qualify for funding under the hotel tax, prompting the motion to Tuesday's finance committee.
If the motion is approved, city council would still have to pass it as a business case during 2021 budget talks this winter.