Saturday, April 14, 2012

Bean Counters Report In!

At last week's Village of Beiseker Council meeting, our auditors reported to council on the financial situation of the village at the end of 2011.  It wasn't pretty! 

Two main things contributed to Beiseker's cash shortfall at the end of 2011; the Alberta government's slow transfer of funds and over $300,000 of owed taxes!

  1. Slow Payments;  Beiseker had three major projects to pay for in 2011.  They were the Beiseker Airport repaving, Main Street upgrading, and Chinook Crescent repairs.  The first two projects were to be paid for by provincial grants.  But the contractors want to be paid as soon as their work has been inspected and deemed satisfactory.  The Village of Beiseker had to pay the contractors even though the promised provincial grant money had not arrived!   
  2. Back Taxes Owed;  As mentioned earlier on this blog, Beiseker has been unable to collect over $300,000 of property taxes even though it must still pay the education portion to the province in full!
Problem number one has been solved; the provincial bucks are here!  But problem number two is still with us.

The solutions;
  • The Village will have to borrow some money to pay the bills while we wait for our 2011 tax bucks to trickle in.
  • If you are one of those who are having difficulty paying your 2011 property taxes, contact the Village of Beiseker Office (403-947-3774).  There is a good possibility that you can make a plan with the Village to pay those taxes over a longer period of time.
  • Village council will likely have to scale back or postpone some projects over this upcoming construction season until we have full funding in hand.
  • We will be asking the provincial government (through the AUMA) to speed up future transfers to us and other small municipalities so we might avoid these cash crunches.
  • We will also be asking the provincial government (through the AUMA) to consider collecting their Education Portion of the property taxes based on a formula related to the percentage of taxes collected.  
The problems cited here do not constitute a "Doomsday Scenario" for Beiseker.  It is just simply a minor glitch.  But Village Council is determined to make sure we get Beiseker out of this situation before it does get serious.  Stay tuned.

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