No break on tax penalty for seasonal resident

A summer resident won’t be getting a break after paying her property taxes two days late.

A summer resident won’t be getting a break after paying her property taxes two days late.

Council recently turned down a request from Joy Hearle to waive the $219.26 penalty she was charged for late payment of taxes. In a letter to the district, she explained she got caught up with family illness, thinking she had “everything up to date,” until receiving a Nov. 5 letter from the district stating there was an amount in arrears on her Sicamous condo.

Having paid the fine, she Hearle requested the district reimburse or reduce the penalty charged.

“I have paid the invoice, not because I feel it is fair, but because I don’t like to have unpaid bills in my name. However, I do feel the amount charged is excessive for two days of arrears.”

Chief financial officer Kelly Bennett explained to council how, under the Community Charter, a penalty of 10 per cent is imposed if taxes are not paid by the due date of July 2, adding the Ministry of Community, Sport and Cultural Development has final say on whether or not a penalty is waived.

In a Jan. 7 memo to council, Bennett and district staff recommend council deny the request to write to the ministry asking it forgives the penalty.

“The province normally only forgives a penalty if it’s a fault of BC Assessment, on our end or there’s an act of God – like the flood,” said Bennett. “If somebody is sick or somebody is dying or in a chronic situation, it doesn’t really matter. The reason why we recommended to deny it is because we feel the province would also deny it.”

Council voted unanimously in favour of the staff recommendation.