By Cole Parkinson
With tax collection date come and gone for the Municipal District of Taber, the municipality sees around $5.2 million in outstanding taxes. On Nov. 15, 2021, property taxes had to be paid in order to avoid penalty. On Nov. 16, a five per cent penalty was applied to current taxes outstanding.
“After the penalty was applied, there is currently about $5.2 million outstanding. Now, out of that $5.2 million, just over $3 million is current taxes, currently outstanding. Out of that $3 million of current taxes outstanding, approximately $2 million is for non-residential properties and $1 million is for all other properties — what would be residential, farmland, and such,” explained Bryan Badura, director of Corporate Services.
A question was asked around how the outstanding taxes were broken down concerning companies who have entered into the M.D. Tax Installment Payment Program (TIPP).
With several oil and gas companies operating in the M.D. entered into the program, Coun. John Turcato inquired if any of that $2 million was from companies in TIPP.
“With that $2 million outstanding with non-residential, how much of that is companies already in payment plans or is it outside of that?” he asked.
“The majority of that amount is outside of payment plans. I believe the only ones that are currently in payment plans might come to about $300,000,” responded Badura.
“Is that the amount we were expecting or is that a little higher than we had hoped?” asked Turcato.
Badura explained numbers may be down from the previous year, but overall, they are still seeing high amounts of outstanding taxes.
“The $2 million in non-residential taxes outstanding is lower than it was last year, but it is significantly higher than it has been in the past. There is a large portion of it that is outstanding from one or two companies that are in bankruptcy. Our ability to collect those amounts could be limited here with the bankruptcy proceedings.”
He also answered if there were any surprising names on the list this year.
“There are no surprises, however, we do have a lot of junior oil companies and the list this year seems to be more names on it than I’d expected to see.”
A question was posed to administration around if it was expected that outstanding taxes would be caught up soon.
It was explained to council residential and farmland would likely be paid up fairly soon while non-residential could take a while.
“I would expect to see the majority of the $1 million outstanding for residential and farmland caught up, similar to other years. However, it is a little early to tell how the non-residential might work out,” added Badura.
Coun. Brian Hildebrand asked if the $2 million was inclusive of the $1.7 million designated as uncollectible from previous years or a new total.
“No, it’s not. The amount of total taxes outstanding is just over $5.2 million. That $1.7 million would be included in our arrears, which the majority of that amount is non-residential properties as well. There’s about $2.2 million in arrears from previous years and $3 million outstanding from the current year,” responded Badura.
“We should be getting around 25 per cent-ish of that back through the PERC (Provincial Education Requisition Credit) application,” added CAO Arlos Crofts. “We pay the requisition and then get it back.”