By David Venn, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter

Iqaluit’s mayor says churches should be taxed and he will bring forward a motion to do make them pay municipal property taxes at the next city council meeting, scheduled for July 13.

Mayor Kenny Bell tweeted he would move to amend the city’s exemption from property taxation bylaw shortly after news broke on June 24 that remains of 751 bodies, many of which are believed to be former students, had been located in unmarked graves at the former Marieval Indian Residential school, which is about 160 kilometres east of Regina, Sask.

“We’re not retaliating against them; they literally killed thousands of children,” he said in an interview with Nunatsiaq News.

There are 16 groups that are exempt from paying property taxes under the city’s bylaw. Churches and religious groups make up half of them.

Bell says the law should be reserved for groups that provide value to the city.

“Tax exemptions, as a whole, are supposed to be for groups that do the community good. It’s very clear that the Catholic church hasn’t done the community any good.”

This item is reprinted with permission from the Nunatsiaq News. For the complete article, click HERE

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