Unpaid oilpatch taxes rise again despite industry boom, say rural municipalities

Rural Municipalities of Alberta says the total of unpaid taxes from the oilpatch keeps rising despite the industry's boom.

In a release, the group says energy companies owe towns and villages in which they operate a total of $268 million.

That's up more than six per cent from last year.

As well, the rate of non-payment is increasing.

Paul McLauchlin, president of the group, says $53 million was left unpaid last year and $38 million the year before.

McLauchlin says the problem is occurring at a time of record profits in the industry and he notes that nearly half the unpaid taxes are due from operating companies.

He says much of the remainder comes from companies so marginal the Alberta Energy Regulator is afraid to crack down on them and force them to close without cleaning up their wells.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published March 7, 2023.

The Canadian Press