County of Paintearth

County of Paintearth

Paintearth County writes off significant number of unpaid tax rolls

Taxes written off in order to apply for PERC

The County of Paintearth has chosen to write off a significant number of unpaid tax rolls from 2020 and 2021. They made the decision to do so in their Nov. 22 council meeting.

According to chief administrative officer (CAO) Michael Simpson, administration had spent some time recently reviewing unpaid tax rolls and chose ones related to oil and gas that they felt were “uncollectable” to be written off.

Writing off around 115 tax rolls from 2019 and 2020 allows the county to claim the Property-tax Education Requisition Credit (PERC) through the provincial government.

When a municipality collects property taxes, a requisition for education is included based on the total amount of taxes the municipality is expected to collect. Regardless of whether the municipality collects the taxes, the province sends the municipality a bill for the education requisition.

If the taxes are not collected on a particular property, the requisition would typically need to be paid out of the municipality’s operational funds. However, several years ago, when the oil and gas tax collection began to get problematic, the province introduced the PERC program which gives the municipalities education requisition credits if the associated taxes are written off.

While it is a help, it is not a perfect system.

Total tax write-offs for the County of Paintearth for 2019 were around $156,000 for around $14,000 back in PERC credits. Write-offs in 2020 were just over $200,000, with just under $20,000 back in the requisition credits.

“The total amount of property tax we must write off is often upwards of 10 times higher than the amount we get back, but it keeps us from beating a dead horse,” said Simpson.

Local NewsMunicipal GovernmentNews

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