June 18th, 2024

Unexpected tax bill comes as Legion raises funds for roof

By Lethbridge Herald on June 4, 2021.

Herald photo by Alejandra Pulido-Guzman - The Royal Canadian Legion General Stewart Branch No. 4 has been fundraising for costs associated with roof repairs.

The Lethbridge Legon says they are facing an unexpected increase in their tax bill amid a campaign to raise funds for roof repairs.Royal Canadian Legion General Stewart Branch No. 4 past president, Kent Perry, spoke to the media Thursday about a recent GoFundMe campaign he organized to help pay for a new roof and re-opening of the branch.
Perry said this initiative was started at the end of March to acquire funds to help them pay for the roof on the perimeter of the building. The main roof was done a few years back, but the perimeter roofing developed some leaks earlier in the year.
The cost of the roof was $40,000. They were originally going to spend $35,000 but their loading dock roof needed to be replaced as well and therefore the total increased by $5000.
With funds have been limited due to the branch closure because of COVID-19 restrictions, Perry decided to organize the GoFundMe initiative. Their goal was to gather $20,000 and he was happy to report that they were able to receive $15,520. That amount was reached as a combination of private donations and the GoFundMe initiative.
“I just wanted to say to all our donors, citizens of Lethbridge, surrounding area, legion members and corporate entities alike to please accept our heartfelt thanks for your support. We couldn’t be more pleased with the response, as this has not only helped us with the repair, but it is also telling us how you value our presence here in Lethbridge,” said Perry.
At the same time Perry also shared that the Legion discovered they are faced with an extra $17,524 owing in taxes due to a charitable organization having moved out of their leased space last January and a non-charitable organization moving in.
“We would have appreciated a heads up from the city of this change. We are not for profit and our income has been greatly reduced in the past 15 months. And because of the pandemic we find this latest hit to our finances to be a very big setback,” said Perry.
As a result, they will be approaching the city to see if they can come to some sort of compromise, according to Perry.
“If we would have known that earlier, we could have maybe budgeted a little better. But because we didn’t know that and we got hit with a $17,524 (bill) and it has to be paid by the end of this month, it’s pretty devastating,” added Perry.
Perry also said that the funding they get from their lease space helps them keep their doors open to provide their services to their members and veterans.
The Legion is expected to re-open on June 15, with some restrictions still in place to ensure the health and safety of everyone.
Members of The Royal Canadian Legion General Stewart Branch No 4 will be meeting at the cenotaph on Sunday June 6 and will be laying a wreath at 11 a.m. to commemorate D-Day.

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