Municipal tax arrears on the rise

Whatever the reasons, ratepayers are having a harder time coming up with municipal taxes as property taxes in arrears continue to rise

Municipal tax day has come and gone, and this year, several municipalities in the regional district are finding their coffers a little short on cash.

Keremeos Chief Administrative Officer Laurie Taylor advised council last week that 10 per cent of the village ratepapyers’ taxes were in arrears.

Data from Princeton and Oliver reveals a similar pattern – so it would appear that the issue is more widespread than in the Village of Keremeos.

Late payment of taxes usually involves a hefty penalty, sometimes as much as ten per cent – so it doesn’t make sense for people to neglect paying them on time.

Is it a sign of economic times? The tax bill comes at a time of year when householder’s budgets are stretched by other things, like home improvements and  summer vacations. The demographic in Keremeos that seems to be most likely to be in arrears are not seniors, according to CAO Taylor; rather they may be younger families who are increasingly finding their budget stretched at this time of year. For them, an option might be a monthly payment plan for taxes, something being discussed at the village office these days.

 

It may not be much, but short of reducing taxes, may help those who have too many bills to pay this time of year.