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Tuesday December 6th, 2011  
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   Volume 81 - Issue 49 Website:www.passherald.ca   email: news@passherald.ca   $1.00   
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Quote of the Week
"There are lots of things out there that are old, but that doesn't necessarily mean they should be protected."
- Matthew Francis  
   
   

 

 
Crowsnest Pass Municipal Council gave first reading to a bylaw which will provide for an increased penalty on unpaid property taxes, during the November 29th regular Council meeting.
Under Bylaw 836, otherwise known as the Property Tax Penalties Bylaw, the penalty for unpaid property taxes will be increased from the current 21 per cent of the total amount owing to approximately 50 per cent.
Director of Finance and Systems Marion Vanoni said discussions on the bylaw began in October, when Administration began looking for a way to rectify the issue of outstanding property taxes.
At present, a total of $1,044,759 in outstanding property taxes is owed by several residential and commercial property owners, a balance which has been carried forward since 2009.
“We are basically carrying their debt load for them,” said Vanoni.
Under the new bylaw, these residents will have the new penalty structure applied to their tax arrears starting in 2012.
An average property tax of $2,500 due on December 31st, 2011 will have penalties of approximately $1,443 applied in 2012.
If the total $3,943 remains as outstanding throughout 2012, it will continue to accumulate penalties in the following year of an additional $2,684.53, bringing the total amount owing to $6443.81.
 

Vanoni noted that individuals who have entered into pre-authorized monthly or bimonthly payments will not be subject to these penalties, and will have a full 12 months to pay their full tax bill, rather than being required to come up with the full amount by the tax deadline of June 30th.
“We encourage people to be on pre-authorized payment so that monthly payment is not as much of a financial hardship as one lump sum,” said Vanoni.
She said this new penalty structure encourages residents who wish to retain their property to look for alternate sourcing to pay for their taxes.
Mayor Bruce Decoux said the Municipality is not looking to “penalize the little guy”, but simply to rectify flagrant abuses and encourage residents to pay their taxes so it does not create a burden to the entire community.
“You can’t get away with not paying taxes,” said Mayor Decoux.
“Those who don’t pay their taxes have to pay them.”
Councillor Brian Gallant said he hopes the Municipality will not have to issue any additional penalties, and that pre-authorized payment should help to ensure this.
“I really see this as a strong encouragement to simply pay your property taxes on time,” said Councillor Gallant.
“There are lots of options.”
Councillor Gallant moved first reading of the bylaw, which was carried unanimously.
The second and third readings will take place at the December 6th Council meeting.
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   Volume 81 - Issue 49 Website:www.passherald.ca   email: news@passherald.ca   $1.00   
 
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