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Interim tax levy suggested to improve County cash flow

Council will be asked to approve an “interim tax levy” to avoid further delays of the first instalment of property tax payments.

A report before council at today’s committee of the whole meeting seeks a bylaw to provide an interim tax levy for 2017 with a due date of March 15th for all properties. It would come to council’s Nov. 22 meeting.

In her report, Wanda Thissen, manager of revenue and deputy treasurer, notes the interim levy would raise 33.3 per cent of the total 2016 tax levy – generating approximately $13.4 million.

The interim levy comes of the heels of delayed tax notices in 2015 and 2014 due to late notices from the provincial government related to the education tax portion.

In 2014, the County began issuing one “final” tax notice to all ratepayers with three instalments shown on the notice.

“In 2014 and prior years, the province was announcing the Education Tax Rates by the end of January each year which allowed the municipality to continue to have the first instalment due date of March 15th,” explained Thissen in her report. “However, for the taxation years 2015 and 2016, the province did not announce the Education Tax Rates by the end of January which resulted in the first instalments being delayed” to April in 2015 and May in 2016.

The delay, Thissen notes, impacts negatively on the County’s cash flow. The County is mandated to transfer the first instalment due to the school board by March 31st and if the municipality has not collected the funds, it can result in short term borrowing costs.

The amount of the interim levy will be based on 33.3 per cent of the previous year’s total levy.
2016 Municipal Levy: $32,264,293.00
2016 Education Levy: $ 8,059,623.00
Total 2016 Levy: $40,323,916.00
2017 Interim Levy Requirement: $13,441,305.00

The final tax notice would be mailed at a later date with two instalments with due dates as follows:
2016 Residential Property Tax Classes: June 15th and Sept 15th
2016 Commercial/Industrial/Multi-Res Classes: Sept 15th and Nov 15th.

Filed Under: Local News

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  1. Dennis Fox says:

    I’m not sure if I agree with the comment about this council being congratulated for finalizing their budget two months before previous councils. I don’t recall the public being invited to participate, nor being advised as to how and when that would even be possible. On what numbers did the municipality base their projections – on the 20016 experience or on a projected 2017 guess? Neither the province nor the feds have their own numbers established yet for 2017 transfer payments – so on what? I suspect that there is another tax increase involved, so perhaps we should hold a “WHAT WILL THE TAX INCREASE BE?” lottery. My guess is 4.5 % – no they have done that twice now – an even 5% this year is my guess. What’s yours?

  2. Chris Keen says:

    Guess who is going to pay the short term borrowing costs? If these can be avoided by returning to the 2014 and earlier schedule thus saving them, why would anyone object?

  3. Gary Mooney says:

    As I understand it, the County simply wants to restore the schedule of past years, when the first tax payment was due on March 15. Entirely reasonable.

    It’s hard to understand why the provincial government is slow in providing this information, thereby causing problems for all 440 municipalities.

    As a final comment, the County should be commended for finalizing its budget at least two months earlier than in previous terms of Council.

  4. ADJ says:

    And to the County I say “tough noogy”! Don’t chase the taxpayer for interim payments when it’s really the Prov. fault.Believe it or not many taxpayers have to pony up with a credit card to make that payment because they don’t readily have that cash flow.So who is saddled with the “short term borrowing costs” now? Totally unfair and the County needs to lay the blame where it belongs..the Province and not the taxpayer. Send the Province an overdue payment notice!

  5. Dennis Fox says:

    It is all well and good that one level of government blames the other for delays in tax notices and then threatens to impose a penalty if money isn’t forthcoming when demanded – then throw in the Board. of Education demands and then the taxpayers are run over in the rush for their money! What is missing in this discussion is the topic of taxpayer’s ability to pay in advance. Maybe the municipality needs to tell the province to get stuffed and make an issue of their delayed transfer payments. Didn’t Shire Hall recently issue a statement about how many water bills are in arrears? Is this interim tax bill really the answer – or just more discomfort for the residents to tolerate?

    The municipality also needs to re-examine their spending – wasted money on employee dismissals, millions wasted on the cost over-run on the sewage plant, OMB lawyers, $6000 replacement trees – the list goes on! Odd how it is that everything comes home to roost – eventually. Is there another reason we don’t have cash flow when needed?

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