Council denies second request for property tax forgiveness

A property tax forgiveness request has been turned down by town councillors.

A property tax forgiveness request has been turned down by town councillors.

A request came to the Town of Ponoka Feb. 11 to forgive the 2012 property taxes and penalties in the amount of $647.71 on the property. The same request came to councillors last year but was denied. The owner of a manufactured home made a second request after some discussion with town administration.

The homeowner met with assistant CAO Betty Quinlan to explain some of the mitigating factors in not paying the property tax. The resident owns a manufactured home and rents property and Quinlan said there were some errors that caused the mistake.

“There was new managers at the manufactured home park, the old managers always kept the town updated on who the residents were,” she explained.

Individual property owners pay tax just on the mobile homes and not on the land, said Quinlan. The new resident was paying rent and was unaware of the taxes and the new managers did not notify the town of the change, which caused some issues.

“She didn’t become aware that there was taxes owing,” said Quinlan.

Coun. Teri Underhill was unimpressed. “I just think this is phooey to be honest.”

She said property owners should get tax adjustments after land sales and asked if the person making the request could show a statement of adjustment.

“Anytime that you buy land or a manufactured home there’s a statement of adjustments,” said Underhill.

The tax responsibility falls on the lawyers or homeowners finalizing a sale to ensure those taxes are paid, she explained.

“And if you choose not to use a realtor or a lawyer and do your deal privately then it is your obligation to know that,” added Coun. Sandra Lyon.

Coun. Carla Prediger made a motion to table a decision to get more information from the person, but council defeated it. Underhill made the motion to deny the request, which passed 6-1 with Prediger voting against it.