Surprise tax bill for Quebec fashion store

Surprise tax bill for Quebec fashion store

Main pic: Église Saint-Roch, rue Saint-Joseph, quartier Saint-Roch, à Québec. Photo credit: Mcturcotte

Quebec City (Quebec) 30 January 2015 – A fashionable boutique catering to local dressmakers and designers from the province got a $78,000 tax bill they weren’t expecting, due to being located in the church basement at Église Saint-Roch, Quebec City.

As is the norm in the province, churches do not pay property tax, so the boutique in question, Signatures Québécoises thought they would be exempt from those municipal taxes by being integrated into the church property but, apparently not.

The city had encouraged the boutique to set up shop in the newly renovated church basement which opens onto rue St. Joseph, as a way to attract people to the area.

The question of paying property tax never really came up when the store rented the space from the church and since there was no tax for the first year the owner, Anne de Shalla, assumed that her specialty shop was exempt, because of its location.

After two years of being in operation however, the store suddenly received a tax bill of $78,000 for two years.

Mme. Shalla was taken aback by the actions of the city since it was the city itself that encouraged her to rent that particular real estate.

After contacting her city councillor, Chantal Gilbert, Mme Shalla was told that there was nothing the city could do to help her pay the bill or change the taxation procedure.

The church in which the boutique is situated says it will try and help Mme Shalla but, reiterates that its resources are limited.

The boutique pays rent to the church itself.

The owner is very upset and is not sure if she will continue to operate the store at its present location under the circumstances.

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