A county resident who paid his taxes to the wrong government didn’t get a reprieve on the late penalty, County of Wetaskiwin councilors decided during their regular meeting Jan. 8.
The issue was presented to councilors by CAO Rod Hawken.
In his agenda memo, Hawken noted, “On December 13, 2019 the County of Wetaskiwin received a phone call from Gerry Hildebrand requesting Council to forgive the September 1st penalty on his property legally described as SE 14-46-1-W5M – Plan 9824055; Block 1; Lot 11 in the amount of $91.24.
“Gerry stated that he paid the 2019 taxes in June although the payment was sent to the City of Wetaskiwin.”
A letter dated Dec. 13, 2019 from Hildebrand stated a mistake was made.
“What we have discovered is that the electronic payment that I made went to the City of Wetaskiwin where I had owned a property and therefore had them in my bill payment contacts,” stated Hildebrand’s letter, which was included in the agenda package.
“I have discussed the fact that the City held my payment without advising me and it is only because of your letter that I was able to find out that I made the payment to the wrong agency.
“While it angers me that the City did not advise me that they were holding the funds, I must accept that I did make the payment to the wrong agency.”
Hawken noted councilors have the authority under the Municipal Government Act to reduce the penalty or forgive it completely. He also said this type of mistake does occur from time to time.
The CAO noted, regardless of the reason, the taxes in question were not paid on time so staff recommended refusing the request and applying the full penalty.
Councilors, noting that the taxes were not paid to the county on time, unanimously refused the request to forgive the late penalty.