The Town of Strathmore is advising residents who have recently purchased property to ensure their taxes are in proper order, as penalty deadlines are quickly approaching.
Alan Down, manager of assessment tax with the Town, said with the real estate market being as active as it is, as well as due to complications which arose due to COVID-19, there have been delays regarding land title changes.
“It is my understanding that they are up to five months delayed in processing of land title changes. This is going to cause some problems,” said Down. “For Strathmore residents the primary concern is that if you have purchased a home in the last five to six months in the Town of Strathmore, make sure you contact the tax department to ensure that the payments and taxes are up to date.”
Down said if a property owner’s taxes are not up to date by the end of June, there may be financial penalties applied and he advised that any potential issues for new homeowners can be resolved by calling the town’s tax department to ensure everything is up to date.
“If you have been in your home for a year, two years (or more), it really has no impact on you. Only those folks who have purchased their properties in the last six months,” said Down. “My understanding is it started in 2020 with the pandemic and then it really has not been resolved. Over the last six months to a year, as the real estate market has picked up, this lag has gotten longer and longer.”
Down added that the delay regarding land title changes is definitely something prospect home buyers should consider before making their purchase and signing paperwork.
“It is of paramount importance to make sure that you speak to the (tax department) in regards to the taxes that you’re going to be paying on your property,” said Down. “Because of that lag, you want to be absolutely certain that you’ve got it taken care of so that you don’t get those penalties applied.”
Down said the problem is not exclusive to Strathmore and is being experienced across the entirety of Southern Alberta.
In Strathmore, the tax penalty is 10 per cent at the end of June and there are further penalty dates later in the year, but Down did not specify when they would occur.
A Tax Installment Payment Plan (TIPP) is an option for folks who may have difficulties paying their taxes in full and can be discussed at the tax office.
Penalties would apply to property owners for both residential and non-residential properties.
Down advised residents can call Kim Johnston with the Town of Strathmore’s tax department at 403-361-2114 to get any concerns resolved prior to the penalty deadline.
John Watson, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, Strathmore Times