Funeral home co-op offers investors tax break
BY BRENT FOX
Investors looking for a further tax break can consider putting money into a local funeral home co-op that’s offering its second round of Community Economic Development Investment Funds (CEDIF).
The Valley Funeral Home Co-operative Limited is currently raising up to $275,000 in capital to reduce its mortgage and equipment debt.
Investors may buy from $1,000 up to $50,000 in shares each. The offer began Jan. 11 and finishes up Feb. 28. Investors become members of the co-op.
Co-op chairman Boyd Taylor said that investments are eligible for the usual 30 per cent non-refundable provincial equity tax credit if kept for five years. What’s new this year, Taylor said, is that this can increase by a further 20 per cent after six years and an even further 10 per cent after 11 years. Investments are RRSP-eligible.
Any Nova Scotia resident who is 19 years old or over can invest in the CEDIF, whether currently a member of the co-op or not.
Taylor said that members’ investments could go toward their own funeral expenses when the need arises. He noted, however, “we do have some people for whom this is strictly an investment.”
The co-op notes that investors help create local employment and exercise local control over a local business.
Open for just over two years, the funeral home serves all faiths and members and non-members. Vice chairman Donald MacDonald noted, “we’re open to the public.”
The service area is from Windsor to Bridgetown and from New Ross to the Fundy coast, though it does services across the province.
The co-op issued its first round of CEDIFs in 2003 to get the operation up and running, raising $157,000. Membership has grown from 150 two years ago to about 450.
Manager and funeral director Max Lockhart noted that the co-op buys its fuel from ACA Co-op and does its banking at the Credit Union.
The funeral home co-op concept has been growing in the province, Taylor said. “There has been a trend.” There is a funeral home co-op in Musquodoboit that has been in business for many years, and two more have started in recent years in Cape Breton.
As well, Taylor said, the general idea of locally owned co-ops remains strong in the Valley, where larger corporations have been known to pull out or otherwise reduce capacity here.