To tax or not to tax

The Ponoka town council has a decision to make. The tax notices must be sent out in the near future.

Dear Editor:

The Ponoka town council has a decision to make. The tax notices must be sent out in the near future. For the last four years we have complained that the Town of Ponoka has inflated the cost of the 38th Street local improvement.

Through our FOIP requests, the town has now revealed they did grossly overcharge the citizens on 38th Street paying for this tax. They even admitted, in writing, in the FOIP portfolio officer’s report, they made errors that resulted in some of the overcharges.

The question now is, with this year’s tax notice, will the town knowingly and deliberately continue to overtax these citizens even after admitting they made some errors or will they now tell the truth, apologize and correct this wrongful tax? This excessive tax has been a burden on some 38th Street residents, especially some seniors on a fixed income.

We discovered these wrongful charges June 13, 2012 when the town provided us with their FOIP response. Obviously the town officials knew about these errors long before then. This explains all the blacked out documents they gave us, claiming they were trade secrets. Since June 23, 2012, on behalf of some of these residents, I have submitted three written requests for a refund and four written requests to address council as a delegation. All have been ignored or rejected. I have submitted a written summary to council of the wrongful overcharges amounting to approximately $200,000. It appears the town wants to ignore this also.

But now they must send out the 2013 tax notices. So will council correct, even the errors they have admitted to or will they continue to callously overtax some of their own citizens and do so on behalf of the people of Ponoka, whom they represent?

On Wednesday, May 1 we will have a meeting at the Ponoka County Office at 7 p.m. to give an opportunity to anyone interested, to look at the documentation on which we base our allegations and concerns. We will answer any questions or provide information as best we can.

Anyone is welcome to attend.

Nick Kohlman