Stettler’s parish council turned down two requests for tax exemption at its regular November 10th session, but entered into a tax deal with business owners in the Buffalo Lake area.
District Tax Clerk Sharon Larsen filed two late tax remission requests from various property owners, both of which were received after the deadline set out in the Township Ordinance, which states that taxes were due by the last business day in October which was October 29, 2021, a friday.
Larsen made the first request.
“The installment payer asks the council to consider forgiving the November fine of 685.23 US dollars,” she said in her memo to the council. “Since the tax deadline is usually October 31, 2021 and the 31st is on the weekend.”
City councils received a copy of the landowner’s application with names removed, but found that it was Tax List No. 663902.
“This year I made a mistake of paying my taxes late because I misinterpreted the date on the calendar,” the property owner wrote.
“I usually pay my taxes on October 31st and I haven’t noticed that the date has changed this year. October 29th is the last office day of the month.
“I understand that the notice of termination stated the correct due date. However, I still paid on October 31st.
Officially, this meant that I was in default with the payment as the bank would have booked the payment on November 1st, 2021.
“The total cost of 10 percent of the tax is about $ 685, and that amount would be significant to both my family’s finances and my electricity bill for about three months,” said the property owner.
Larsen noted in her memo that the Township Administration Act (MGA) gives the council the power to enact taxes and penalties “when fair” and that other Stettler County’s property owners missed the deadline and paid the penalties.
Count. Les Stulberg asked if the tax assessments had the due date, to which Larsen replied: “Yes, it is in the tax assessment.”
Both Coun. Ernie Gendre and Paul McKay stated that the Council might consider changing the text of the Articles of Association to say “last day of month” instead of “last business day of month”.
Count. Justin Stevens stated that many county taxpayers have already paid the fine and if it is passed it could create a “snowball” effect.
Stevens stated that he sympathized with the fee payer and was considering examining the wording of the statutes in the future.
Stulberg said he doesn’t particularly like fines, but the property owner had four months to pay and the tax bill clearly stated the due date.
An application to grant the tax exemption was rejected by 1 to 6 votes, Gendre supported.
Larsen presented the second application, which was not accompanied by a letter, but it was made by a property owner with account HUT003 who arrived at the county office on Monday November 1st to pay tax which was a day late.
“The installment payer asks the council to forgive the November fine of 5,921.60 US dollars,” says Larsen’s memo.
A request for forgiveness was also rejected by 1 to 6 votes, with Gendre supporting this.
Buffalo Lake request
Keith Wilson and Doug Wilson of Paradise Shores appeared before the council to discuss the “Tax Agreement” item on the agenda for any revenue. ”
When they appeared, the councilors went into a “closed session” to discuss the matter privately.
After about 25 minutes, the city councils returned to the open session where they unanimously agreed to sign a tax treaty with the Wilson brothers that cleared the county tax penalties and the Wilson brothers agreed to pay $ 46,858.96 in property taxes to pay.
Count. Stulberg stated that he wanted to point out that these developers encountered an unforeseen catch, that Stettler County’s history of helping developers who have encountered difficulties, and that this tax arrangement was similar to the county’s previous efforts on behalf of other developers.