County council turns down request to forgive tax penalties

County council turns down request to forgive tax penalties

Numbered company bought property but claims didn’t know taxes owing

County of Wetaskiwin councilors denied a request to cancel tax penalties during their regular meeting Mar. 26.

The request from an Alberta numbered company to forgive tax penalties was presented to councilors by Director of Assessment Services Rene Boutin.

“On March 4, 2019 Administration received correspondence from 2121495 Alberta Ltd requesting the September 1, 2018 and the January 1, 2019 penalties be forgiven on their properties which are legally described as Plan 1325160 Block 1 Lots 31, 32, & 33; Plan 1325160 Block 2 , 4 & 5; Plan 1620026 Block 2 Lot 2, 3, 5, 6, 7 & 8; Plan 1620026 Block 3 Lot 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, & 17; and Plan 1620026 Block 4 Lot 6, 7 & 8 (NE 24-47-28-W4M) due to not receiving the Tax notices,” stated Boutin in his report to council.

“The properties listed above had been in arrears due to the bankruptcy of Charaden Meadows. In 2016 & 2017 Tax/Assessment Notices were mailed to Charaden Meadows along with penalty reminder letters and early tax notification letters. On March 20, 2018 UMC Financial paid the outstanding 2016 & 2017 taxes and penalties bringing all accounts to a zero balance to ensure the parcels were not placed on the tax notification list and notification was not registered on title.

“On June 1, 2018 the Tax/Assessment notices were mailed to Charaden Meadows who was at this time still the current owner on title. The 2018 tax levy incurred a 6% penalty on September 1, 2018 and a 7% penalty on January 1, 2019. As per County of Wetaskiwin procedure a penalty reminder letter was sent in November 2018 to Charaden meadows.

“On January 2, 2019 an update was received from land titles showing the change of ownership from Charaden Meadows to 2121495 Alberta Ltd. When land titles notified the County of title change courtesy tax notices were sent to the new current land owner 2121495 Alberta Ltd showing the outstanding 2018 tax levy and penalties.”

Boutin said county staff re-examined notices about the late taxes to ensure they hadn’t made any mistakes. “A review of Administrative records confirms that all correspondence was mailed as required to the current owner on title and had been sent to the address that was registered on the land title certificate as required by the Municipal Government Act,” he added.

Boutin told councilors the property in question sold, but the new owner claims they were never informed that outstanding taxes were owed. Boutin noted in his memo the total owing was $2,659.57.

Councilors briefly discussed the request, noting it included an undeveloped subdivision. Councilor Josh Bishop said the county isn’t responsible for the problem. “It’s their lawyer’s responsibility to check it out,” said Bishop.

Councilors unanimously agreed to deny the request.