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City hall to take next step against properties in tax arrears

City council voted unanimously to authorize city administration to continue with further tax enforcement proceedings

There are 135 properties that fell into arrears last year, so now city administration plans to take further tax enforcement action by making an initial application for the property titles.

The tax enforcement process is a mechanism initiated each year against properties whose taxes remain unpaid or are in arrears as of Jan. 1 of the year following the tax levy, a report to city council explained.

The process begins by advertising all properties that have tax arrears greater than 50 per cent of the previous year’s tax levy. So if taxes are $10,000 and the property owner is behind in paying by more than $5,000, the tax enforcement process kicks in. If the property taxes remain unpaid, tax liens are registered against the advertised property.

There is a nine-step process that city administration follows before it can acquire a property title. Making an initial application is the third step in the process. The council report noted once all the steps of tax enforcement are completed, the municipality usually acquires one or two property titles.

While 135 properties fell into arrears in 2019 and had liens placed on them, 115 properties faced a similar situation in 2018.

To proceed with the next step, city council voted unanimously during its March 23 regular meeting to authorize city administration to continue with further tax enforcement proceedings by submitting the initial application for title for various properties with tax liens registered with Information Services Corporation (ISC) land registry.

After this third step, the next step will take between 12 to 18 months to achieve, explained finance director Brian Acker. City administration wants approval so it could continue with the process. Once the coronavirus pandemic is over, city hall would move forward with this initiative.

Most properties in arrears owe less than $10,000, according to the report. However, some properties owe more, such as:

  • 2075 Norwood Avenue: $14,714.71
  • 2015 Norwood Avenue: $36,114.84
  • 1325 Normandy Drive: $23,126.86
  • 1300 Lakeview Road: $10,299.88
  • 35 Ominica Street West: $15,581.23
  • 44 Fairford Street West: $26,120.57
  • 20 Main Street North: $18,662.48
  • 115 Coronation Drive: $96,547.04
  • 2855 Britannia Road: $21,284.69

The next regular council meeting is scheduled for Monday, April 13.




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