Sunday, May 3, 2015

Taxation: Tax Collection

Once the mill rate has been set, the municipality can now prepare and send out its tax notices. 

There is a deadline the municipality must follow in sending out these notices, and a deadline by which those taxes must be paid.  When you receive your tax notice, check carefully to make sure you know what the last possible day is to pay your property taxes

Traditionally, municipalities charge huge penalty fees for late paid taxes to encourage folks to pay on time.  This is because the municipality must have the money in the bank when the province comes calling to grab their Education Portion! 

Most municipalities in Alberta have two methods of paying property taxes.  Method One is simply a lump sum payment on or before the tax due date. 

Method Two is much easier in my opinion.  It involves paying monthly instalments throughout the year.  We've been on Method Two for a few years now and it's great!  If you think this might work for you, contact the Beiseker Village Office (403-947-3774) and get the details from them.

If property taxes are unpaid, the municipality has a long and involved procedure to collect them.  The property owner can come into the municipal office and work out a payment plan to cover the amount owing, plus the penalties. 

The municipality also has the right to take the property and sell it to recover those unpaid taxes.  There is a time frame which must be followed.  I believe it's three years.  If the property is seized and sold, the municipality will subtract the amount owing on back taxes with penalties - and then place the remainder of the selling price in the bank. The former owner can apply to have this remainder returned to him.

Municipal Taxation (aka Property Tax) is an important part of keeping our municipalities operating smoothly.  I haven't met one person in my life who looks forward to paying their property taxes!   But almost everyone I meet understands why these taxes are so important to a municipality. 

I hope this series has helped you understand how Municipal Taxation works and why it is so important.

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