Parksville council talked delinquent property taxes at their most recent meeting with the properties in question representing a total of $65,500.
Parksville property taxes outstanding from 2018 are considered “delinquent” as of 2020, explained a report from Lucky Butterworth, director of finance for the city. The report was for information and also offered an extension of the tax sale as an option for council to consider – a deferral to September 2021, rather than the current September 2020. The city kept the date at this upcoming September for the mix of commercial and residential properties.
Butterworth pointed out that the taxes were not paid due to COVID-19 and the financial implications associated with it, since the properties are from 2018. On the other hand, the report said that the current financial position many are in due to COVID-19 will make it hard for many to come up with the money now, regardless of what the reason before might have been.
“The province has issued Ministerial Order M159 which provides council with the option to delay the 2020 tax sale of properties that have delinquent property taxes. The tax sale can be delayed for one year by way of a bylaw adopted by council,” read a summary of a city report.
‘Option 2’, which council did not choose, explained that it might make it even harder for residents to come up with the tax money, since their 2019 taxes would then become delinquent as well.
“The negative to this option is that we will be in a weak position to collect any of the 2018 property taxes and are just pushing the tax collection issue further out in time,” read that section of the report.
“I don’t see the advantage of giving these people another year, it’s like paying any bills, if you have more lenience – sooner or later they have to catch up,” said Coun. Al Grier at the June 15 meeting. “And it’s always harder to catch up than try to stay up, and so it’s my opinion that I agree that we shouldn’t give them another break on this.”
Mayor Ed Mayne said he agreed with Grier, as well as Coun. Adam Fras, who expressed similar sentiments.
“The reality here is that this will go on until September and then at that point in time if we put it up for auction and somebody bids on a particular piece of real estate and wins that bid the owner of the land, the current owner of the land, has a year to perfect that taxes anyway,” said Mayne. “So they have a fair length of time to catch up on this.”
Council voted unanimously to keep the date as Sept. 28, 2020.