Taxes due next month

While summer is the time of year that many people plan vacations or home renovations, residents of Brazeau County and Drayton Valley also have to keep in mind that their annual property taxes will come due.

For both Drayton Valley and Brazeau County, property taxes are due to be paid by June 30 each year. While the amount of the taxes varies between Town and County, and between each residence, everyone who owns property is required to pay taxes on that property.

In the County, there is incentive to pay taxes on time. Those who do will receive a 30 percent discount off of the municipal amount, which can be a significant savings for many.

Colin Swap, the director of corporate services and acting CAO for the County, says it's important that County residents note that the discount is only applied to the municipal portion. The other taxes, for seniors and schools, do not receive a discount.

While there are no incentives to pay taxes on time in Drayton, both Town and County do have policies in place that will penalize those who fail to do so.

The County bylaw states that residents will pay an additional 1 percent on their taxes as of July 1. For every month thereafter that goes unpaid, there will be an additional 1 percent tacked on on the first of each month.

Town residents who don't pay on time face a higher penalty. As of July 1, any unpaid balance will receive an additional 15 percent on their total. If there is still a balance on December 31, there will be an additional 15 percent added on come January 1, each year thereafter until the balance is paid.

If there is an unpaid balance for more than two years, Swap says the municipality will put a tax notification on the title of the property.

“At that point the resident has one more year to either enter into a tax agreement,” says Swap. He says this allows residents to break down the balance owing into payments over three years.

However, if they don't enter into an agreement, the municipality have to hold a public tax recovery auction. Swap says the property is appraised and sold at the auctions, and the municipality will get whatever tax balance is owed to them, and the resident will get the remainder of the funds.

Swap says every year there are a couple of properties that do go to the tax recovery auction for the County. However, he says since his time at the County, there have not been any that were sold. Swap says most property owners contact the County to try and find some way to make everything work.

“Typically what we do, and I'm sure it's the same thing for the Town of Drayton Valley, is we will really work with the residents to try and avoid that,” says Swap.

He says as long as the resident shows they are working toward paying off the balance, even with some minimum payments, they will do their best to avoid going to a tax recovery auction.

“It's certainly a last resort type measure,” says Swap. “The norm is for individuals to reach out.”

He says every year the County does have to set a date for the auction as per legislation, but he says it's a tough subject to talk about. “We certainly don't enjoy coming up with those dates,” he says.

To help prevent some of the more drastic penalties, the Town has put into place a program that allows residents to have a monthly tax payment withdrawn to ensure that taxes are paid on time. The Tax Installment Payment Plan (TIPP) can be applied for after June 20 and once enrolled, residents will not have to renew their membership.

For more information on the tax bylaws in your municipality, visit or To find out more about tax recovery, visit

Amanda Jeffery, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, Drayton Valley and District Free Press