Some lost and some won in their request to have their tax penalties waived by town council.
Presented during the regular meeting Tuesday, Aug. 9 council had three requests to have their tax penalties waived.
The first came from Terry Regehr who sent a letter to the town after paying the penalty.
“He recently moved to Ponoka from a municipality in British Columbia,” explained Sandra Lund, director of corporate services for the Town of Ponoka.
“He was very forthcoming when he came in,” she added.
How the town applies penalties is by administering a 10 per cent penalty on July 1st and Regehr stated in his letter being new to Alberta this was a situation he was not aware of. “As a new resident to Alberta and not having received my tax notice in the mail, I was not aware that my taxes were past due,” said Regehr.
Council approved the request.
Others were not as lucky.
The property owner of a numbered company with three properties will have to pay the $5,269 due to their mailing address being incorrect. Lund said these properties were purchased in the fall and there appears to be a discrepancy in the postal code provided to the town when purchased.
She added that the company does have other properties in town and has never had a tax payment issue prior to this request. Coun. Loanna Gulka suggested that during the purchase someone would have to enter the addresses and that is where the issue is. Coun. Teri Underhill agreed stating that if there was a lawyer involved they would need to ensure the mistake wasn’t made.
Underhill asked administration to consider its penalty structure and find ways to ensure the amount is not so high or drastic. She suggests a penalty schedule in stages may be better.
The last request came from resident Mary Prediger requesting her penalty of $122.64 be waived. Coun. Carla Prediger recused herself from the meeting stating the request came from someone with the same last name.
Lund said there is no prior history of late payments but that Prediger had fallen in an accident in May, which created a delay in her paying the fee as she went through some physical therapy. Her letter to the town also requests restitution of her glasses as she fell on a sidewalk, which bent and scratched her glasses.
“We have not referred this to insurance at this time,” explained CAO Albert Flootman.
Council denied the request.