Stettler town council set the date and reserve bid for two properties with unpaid tax bills. The decisions were made at the Aug. 2 council meeting.
Councillors read a report written by staff member Rachel Morbeck describing the plan to recover unpaid property taxes through public auction. The report was presented to councillors by Assistant Chief Administrative Officer (CAO) Steven Gerlitz.
The report stated that property located at 6211 – 39 Ave. in Stettler, with land assessed at $63,380, improvements (structures) assessed at $172,210 and a total assessed value of $235,590. and property at 5304 – 50 Avenue in Stettler, includes land assessed at $36,420, improvements (structures) assessed at $185,360 and a total assessed value of $221,780.
Gerlitz explained to councillors that assessed value is usually very close to market value; the town is obligated to set a reserve bid of market value for the properties.
Morbeck explained in her report the Municipal Government Act (MGA) spells out the process the town must follow to auction the two properties: prepare tax arrears list and sent notification to owners, council to set reserve bid and sale conditions, advertise public auction in the Alberta Gazette, send copy of ad to registered property owners and all parties having an interest in the property, advertise public auction and, lastly, hold public auction.
Morbeck further explained the council must set a reserve bid that is as close as reasonably possible to the market value of the parcel and any conditions that apply to the sale, the tax recovery process can be stopped by payment of all tax arrears prior to the sale, the town may apply for ownership of the property if it is not sold at the public auction and after the town takes title to the property the property owner can regain title to the property if all taxes are paid before the town sells the property.
Councillors unanimously approved a resolution that the Town of Stettler council set the 2022 tax public auction date in November and approve using the 2022 assessment values as the reserve bids for all 2022 tax sale properties.
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