County to recover lost tax revenue

Richard Froese
South Peace News

Big Lakes County will gain just over $60,000 from an initiative by the provincial government that will provide a tax credit for uncollectable education property taxes on oil and gas properties.

At its regular meeting Dec. 13, council approved a recommendation by administration to write off the applicable 2015 and 2026 tax rolls totaling $532,964. It will generate a credit of $64,260.

The provincial government announced Nov. 15 it will provide a tax credit for uncollect- able education property taxes on oil and gas properties.

“Upon a review of the properties eligible under the program dating back to 2015, Big Lakes County could collect $77,544 as a credit, but would be required to write off $635,785 in uncollectable municipal taxes,” states a report from Heather Nanninga, direoctor of corporate services.

She recommended council claim the 2017 amount in a subsequent year.

“We can still pursue those taxes,” Nanninga says.

“The more recent the tax bill, the more likely it is to collect.”

She notes many of the properties have been sold to new owners, who are not responsible for the taxes in arrears.

It is not viable for the county to take on the properties.

“Many of them would end up a liability for the county and not an asset,” says Reeve Ken Matthews.

County administration agreed.

“Our best interest is to write off the taxes and walk away,” CAO Roy Brideau says.

Share this post