Kneehill County councillors approved a monthly payment plan for an oil company having trouble paying its 2021 property taxes.
The decision was made at the Dec. 14 regular meeting of council.
Councillors read a memo prepared by Caroline Siverson, property tax clerk, regarding an outstanding debt owed by 2234873 Alberta Ltd.
“2234873 Alberta Ltd. has approached Kneehill County regarding a tax agreement payment schedule for the tax arrears and 2021 taxes outstanding,” stated Siverson's agenda memo.
“They would like to enter into a six month agreement for equal monthly instalments, and not be charged any late penalties.
“This company purchased assets from Trident Exploration and during the process with the receiver was not provided the time allowed to verify taxes or review of the properties.
“Until we contacted him, he was unaware that some of the assets were actually located within Kneehill County.
“Due to the current cash flow of the company and the taxes outstanding elsewhere as well as Kneehill County, 2234873 Alberta Ltd. has requested time to pay over six months with no penalties to be assessed.
The amount of levies owing is $35,638.
“We are still attempting to collect the balance of the tax arrears from Trident Exploration’s receiver through legal processes.
“Each of the companies that we have been supporting with payment plans have been good clients with no defaulted payments.”
During the meeting Siverson gave an update notifying councillors the situation with 2234873 Alberta Ltd. had already improved.
Siverson stated the company already paid all outstanding property tax arrears and all that was left owing was the 2021 tax levy.
She noted she’d been in frequent contact with the owner of 2234873 Alberta Ltd. and he offered to make $5,000 payments per month until the 2021 bill was paid off, if late penalties could be waived.
The current amount owing, noted Siverson, was just under $24,000.
She noted that 2234873 Alberta Ltd. is a new company and most of the assets it purchased from now-bankrupt Trident Exploration were in Red Deer County with a tiny bit just over the boundary in Kneehill.
During discussion councilors wondered if some sort of time limit should be included, and Siverson noted the standard tax agreement has a six month limit included. She added that this falls into line with how other oil and gas companies in the same situation have been treated by Kneehill County.
Councillors unanimously agreed with entering into a tax payment agreement with 2234873 Alberta Ltd. for the 2021 property tax bill with late penalties waived.
Trident Exploration Corp. announced on Apr. 30, 2019 it was ceasing operations.
The Alberta Energy Regulator (AER) at that time released a statement noting, in part, “Trident Exploration Corp. has informed the AER that its lender has withdrawn funding from the company. Because of this, Trident does not have the funds to operate its infrastructure or enter into creditor protection. As a result, they have decided to walk away, leaving more than 4,400 licensed sites, many of them active, without an operator.”
Stu Salkeld, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, East Central Alberta Review