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City writes off thousands of dollars in unpaid taxes

The city has written off thousands of dollars in property taxes, that are deemed uncollectible by the city.

On Tuesday night city council approved the write off of 13 tax accounts and directed city staff to apply to the Ministry of Community, Sport and Cultural Development for an order to remove the accounts from the city’s records.

“There are 13 properties with outstanding property taxes receivable which the city has deemed uncollectible,” said Natalie Aalderink, the city’s financial services manager, in a report to council. “All of these properties are demolished mobile homes and are therefore not subject to the normal tax sale remedy of tax sale.”

In 2008, the city forwarded all of the properties to a collections agency in the hope of recovering the taxes.

“Unfortunately, the collection agency was unable to recover any funds,” Aalderink said. “As these mobile homes have subsequently been demolished we do not have an asset to put a lien on or to sell at a distress sale.”

The city has lost a total of $6,292.60 in uncollected taxes from mobile home owners between 2000 and 2010.

“The write off of these deliquent tax accounts will show a decrease in general operating receivables,” Aalderink said.

“If left on the city books, these accounts will continue to accrue interest until they are written off at a future date.”

Aalderink said that although the mobile homes have already been removed from the city’s 2011 tax roll, the city does not have the authority to dispose of tax revenue and instead must apply to the minister of community, sport and cultural development to write off the balance from previous years.

Aalderink said she anticipates the minister will come back with the order to remove the accounts from the city’s records within two to three months.

“With the order the city will be permitted to write off these uncollectible accounts and clean the general ledger to reflect only outstanding taxes that are collectible,” she said.

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