Kneehill County has granted an energy company a 29-month payment plan for its current and past property taxes.
The decision was made at the Nov. 9 regular meeting of council.
It should be noted the ECA Review typically covers Kneehill County council meetings by watching them live-streamed on YouTube; however, a roughly 35 minute section of the council meeting in question was not recorded and hence wasn’t covered by this reporter. Information in this story comes from the approved agenda and information supplied by Kneehill County after the council meeting was adjourned.
Councillors read a memo presented to them by Caroline Siverson, property tax officer, regarding a request from a Calgary energy company that it be permitted to pay its property taxes over time.
“Vantage Point Resources Inc. has approached Kneehill County regarding a tax agreement payment plan for their outstanding and future levies to the end of 2023,” stated Siverson in her memo.
“They would like to enter into an agreement for equal monthly instalments and not be charged any late penalties.
“Council has authorized a tax penalty bylaw that provides for penalties on the first of November for current taxes and on the first of each month thereafter for all tax arrears at a rate of two per cent.
“Vantage Point has approached the county once again for a payment plan to cover their future levies. Vantage has a small cash flow to work with but are able to increase their payments from $35,000 to $62,500 monthly to help decrease the debt and time to pay.
“Vantage Point has been a very reasonable company to work with and is trying hard to maintain their activities in the county while retaining their ability to pay all their bills. Their annual levies are approximately $420,000.
“Last year, council approved another company to pay their 2020 levies over an 18-month period with no penalties. This payment plan over a 29-month period is still within the legislated timelines allowed by the Municipal Government Act (MGA), which provides for a maximum three year agreement.
“Each of the companies that we have been supporting with payment plans have been good clients with no defaulted payments.
“The payments made in the beginning of each year would cover the portion of all county requisitions that are required to be made to third parties – province and senior housing.
“This would not create a negative budget variance since the budget for tax penalties is always established at a very conservative level,” added the memo.
According to the county, councillors then passed the following resolution: “Council agrees to enter into a tax agreement with Vantage Point Resources Inc. for the payment of their current tax arrears and 2021, 2022 and 2023 levies over a 29 month payment plan, from Oct. 31, 2021 to Feb. 28, 2024, with no penalties to be assessed.”
Stu Salkeld, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, East Central Alberta Review