By Justin Seward
Ratepayers will have less time than they’re used to pay their taxes as per Cypress County councils decision earlier this month on the Tax Penalties Bylaw.
Rate payers starting this year will have to pay their taxes by June 30 which is moved up from the November 15 deadline.
“The reason why is agricultural communities, their tax dates were in November, because of the sale of calves in the fall,” said Tarolyn Aaserud, Cypress County’s chief administrative officer.
“But since that has happened, where our taxes are derived from are mainly from other sources, industrial and commercial.”
Council had visits from two natural gas companies (Pinecliff and Canlin) in November where they told councillors they could not pay their taxes, which made up 13 per cent of the county’s taxes derived.
“If this continues it would cause a tremendous concern with cash flow and paying bills,” she said.
The change was in accordance with other municipalities, cash flow needs and if there is non-payments.
“It will give council the opportunity to say ‘woe on projects,’ (and) evaluate what’s going on,” said Aaserud.
Previously the tax notice and the assessment notice were combined and new this year is residents can appeal their assessment but cannot appeal their taxes.
“We’ve split that document,” she said.
“At the end of February, I believe the 26th, our designated assessor will be sending out assessment notices to everybody. It is not a tax notice.”
Ratepayers will have 67 days to dialogue with the designated assessor in the appeal process by May 4.
Ratepayers can also be put on the TIPP (Tax Installment Pre-payment Plan) program where people can pre-pay their property tax through monthly payments and is set up through pre-authorized transfers from a resident’s bank account.
“You’ll still have a balance after June 30, but there will be no penalty assigned July 1 because you’re on this TIPP program,” said Aaserud.
More information on the TIPP Program can be found on the county’s website at http://cypress.ab.ca/p/online-registrations.
Tax questions can be directed to Aaserud by calling her at (403) 526-2888.