South Peace News
Town gives relief for some to pay taxes
Some taxpayers in Falher will be allowed to pay property taxes and utility bills later than the deadline without penalties.
At its regular meeting May 11, Town of Falher council adopted bylaws to allow the changes for taxes and water bills.
“The town will work with ratepayers on an individual basis,” CAO Adele Parker says.
A late penalty will not apply for six months, the bylaw states.
Taxes are due by June 30 before a 10 per cent penalty is charged.
A penalty of 15 per cent is charged after Dec. 31 for unpaid taxies in 2020.
Ratepayers will have an option to create a monthly payment plan.
For those already on a monthly payment plan, they will be allowed to defer payments by three months.
If that is not feasible, a penalty would be applied at the end of Dec. 31, on the outstanding balance.
The Town would recalculate the balance over an 18-month period to ensure all 2020 taxes are paid by Dec. 31, 2021.
Deferral of water bills
Some water users will be allowed to pay their bills without penalties.
“The Town will work with ratepayers on an individual basis,” Parker says.
Customers qualify if they have been diagnosed with COVID-19, been directed by health authorities to self-isolate, lost their job due to COVID-19, or are taking care of a loved one with COVID-19.
Those who qualify will be allowed to defer payments for the first 90 days to ensure no one will be cut off from service.
Penalties will also be waived for 90 days.
Council increases mill rates
Mill rates for municipal services were increased as council adopted the tax bylaw.
Tax rates from residential and farm land was set at .013083.
Last year, the rate was .012282.
Rates for non-residential increased to .016837.
Last year, the rate was .015806.
The tax bylaw comes after council adopted an operating budget of $3,351,487 at its regular meeting April 14.
Falher Municipal Campsite opens
The campsite opened May 1 under restrictions during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Private campgrounds are allowed to operate under social distancing restrictions.
Washrooms, shower, laundry rooms and playgrounds must remain closed.