It was discovered by Town of Peace River admini- stration that a bylaw needed to be changed to allow residents to enter into an agreement with the Town to have their property taxes paid with monthly instalments at any time of the year.
The original bylaw said that owners must enter into an agreement with the town before Dec. 15 of the prior year in order to be able to pay their taxes in instalments.
“Administration brought a request to council to update the Tax Instalment Payment Plan Bylaw with respect to the dates when residents can apply to become part of the monthly property tax payment plan,” says Mayor Elaine Manzer.
“Over time, residents were requesting to be part of the monthly payment plan at various times of the year and practice has been gradually evolving to allow applications at times other than by Dec. 15.”
Instalment payments have been adopted by municipalities globally to allow residents some flexibility.
“Paying municipal property taxes monthly rather than one lump sum, helps residents with their personal budgets,” says Manzer.
“I am not entirely sure of the reasoning to have people apply prior to Dec. 15, but suspect that this made it easy for the Town and the property owner to simply split the annual levy into 12 payments.”
Council approved of the change to the bylaw, allowing residents to officially apply to make instalment payments at any time during the year.
“The change to allow residents to apply to be on the monthly tax payment plan at any time during the year will help many residents to pay the expense as they receive personal income,” Manzer explains.
“The monthly plan was always available but this change allows residents to sign onto the plan, at any time of the year as they wish, or as they buy a property. From the Town perspective, having more of the property taxes paid each month helps the Town’s cash flow be steadier and more consistent.”