Royal Canadian Legion's Lasalle branch faces mounting tax battle
Published Wednesday, October 10, 2018 4:35PM EDT
Last Updated Thursday, October 11, 2018 9:59AM EDT
The Lasalle branch of the Royal Canadian Legion is struggling to stay afloat – and the situation, as of late, has gone from bad to worse.
The Legion lost its tax-exempt status in 2013, and went from paying low taxes to substantially higher ones.
The hefty tax bill it’s already struggling to pay now includes an extra year.
The Legion is now tens of thousands of dollars in debt, and may have to close – forcing its vets into isolation.
“They come in here and they want to make sure they are connection with people that have experienced the same things as them,” explained Ray Cormie, who comes from a long line of servicemen.
This week, the Legion also learned that it wouldn’t be able to reapply for a lower tax status until 2019, a year later than expected.
Members have been reaching out for help – a GoFundMe page has raised a few thousand dollars, but is nowhere near its $70,000 goal.
Montreal comedian Joey Elias offered to host a comedy night October 19th to help save the legion.
Elias has gone overseas to entertain troops, and says if vets need help, they should get it.
“You know, you hear about the military – but when you see it firsthand and how well-respected these men and women are who have the Canadian flag on their shoulder,” he said. “I don’t know how anybody can not get behind this. “
The Legion’s tax bill for 2017 is due November 4th. If it doesn't pay, the city could seize the building.
Factoring in the 2018 and 2019 tax bills, the legion will be close to $84,000 in debt.