Telkwa has little sympathy for those who are way behind in their taxes.
The Province has enabled municipalities, by bylaw, to delay the statutory date of property tax sale and/or redemption by one year because of the hardships caused by the ongoing health pandemic but The Village of Telkwa has decided to keep their original deadlines.
The village currently only has $880.07 in delinquent taxes owing from 2018. The amount owing in total is low compared to the $2.1 million billed out in 2018.
According to a report from Interim Director of Finance Leslie Ford, this money is from two property owners that might face tax sale on Sept. 28 if they do not pay their delinquent taxes.
These property owners also owe taxes from 2019 and 2020 but it is only the third year taxes owing that would cause them to be included in a 2020 sale.
“This is a hard decision because they haven’t paid their taxes for three years so they are already under financial stress or just ignored their taxes,” said Mayor Brad Layton. “The 11 years that I’ve been on council, there hasn’t been a tax sale, someone has always come forward to pay.”
Layton was in favour of forgoing the extension.
“With only it being two property owners, it would be different if we had half the community and it was based on one year. This event is happening right now and it’s this year’s taxes that are the [financial hardship.]”
Councillor Rick Fuerst at first thought about relaxing the deadline for those behind in their taxes.
“We are in a unique time right now [because of the COVID-19 pandemic] and I know people are feeling a financial crunch,” he said but later agreed with the rest of council. “It seems to be at this time, it might seem to be a bit predatory but I get it, it’s been three years,” he added.
All of council was in agreement to not delay the 2020 tax sale.