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Tax sales postponed

Tax sales postponed

At its July 15 meeting, Sechelt Council deferred the date of its potential 2020 tax sale of properties with delinquent taxes owing until September 2021. The Town of Gibsons gave three readings to a bylaw to do the same in that municipality at its June 14 meeting.
The Province has authorized BC local governments to consider such actions to assist property owners suffering financial difficulties as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.
2016 tax amounts for properties in municipalities are considered delinquent in 2020. Lorraine Coughlin, Gibsons director of finance, advised council that currently 18 properties have delinquent taxes and are considered at risk of being subject to tax sale this year. That number is similar to the numbers of “at risk” properties experienced annually for the last five years.
She also explained that staff work with subject property owners to provide opportunities for the outstanding tax amounts to be paid down. Over the past five years, only two properties in Gibsons have been subject to these sales.
By extending its tax sale date, Sechelt is potentially delaying receipt of approximately $150,000 in delinquent property taxes from 2016.
In his update to council on July 15 Sechelt’s Director of Finance David Douglas noted that as of the July 2 due date, the volume of 2020 residential property tax payments processed is at a similar level to past years. This year, 801 Sechelt properties had late payment penalties applied to their accounts on July 3. In 2019, 671 such penalties were applied. That number was 597 in 2018.
Connie Jordison

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