Penhold tax penalties will stay same
Tax penalties in Penhold will remain at four per cent per period over three periods instead of rising back to a single 12 per cent penalty after the beginning of August.
Penhold councillors debated the change during their June 11 meeting. Administration had recommended returning to a single 12 per cent penalty to be applied at the start of August after taxes are due.
Chief Administrative Officer Rick Binnendyk said the 12 per cent single charge was how the penalty was being applied until last year, when it was changed to a four per cent per period over three periods for a total of a 12 per cent penalty.
The report presented to council said the reminders sent to tardy taxpayers and applying the penalties caused the staff a lot of extra work.
“I would be opposed to going back to the previous direction,” said Coun. Danielle Klooster. She said a 12 per cent hit is a “disincentive to pay anything.”
Klooster said town staff were in place to work for the community. She pointed out the new staggered penalties had only been in place for a year and changing it again so soon would be confusing.
Coun. Heather Klein was also against changing back to a 12 per cent single time penalty.
“A 12 per cent rate … is like taking a bat to somebody’s head,” she said. She suggested a three per cent penalty per month missed, but council heard from Binnendyk that was not a possible number as by the end of December that would add up to more than a 12 per cent penalty. She made a motion to have a two per cent per month late penalty but withdrew the motion.
Council was not able to table the motion as the notices had to be sent out the next day, Binnendyk said.
Instead council voted on a motion to keep the four per cent per period over three periods method of penalizing people who pay their property taxes late. The motion passed with Coun. Wendy Dodman, Mayor Dennis Cooper, Klein and Klooster voting for the motion and Coun. Chad Hoffman, Coun. Kathy Sitter and Coun. April Jones voting against it.
The date to register for the Tax Installment Payment Program was also changed by council. People now have until May 31 to register for the program. The previous deadline was March 31.