Oil and gas company will get six months to pay Kneehill County taxes

ECA Review/Terri Huxley
Written by Stu Salkeld

Kneehill County council approved a six month payment plan for an oil and gas company’s 2021 tax bill. 

The decision was made at the Sept. 14 regular meeting of council.

Councillors read a memo from Caroline Siverson, property tax officer, regarding Pine Cliff Energy Ltd.’s request for a six month payment plan for their current tax bill.

“Pine Cliff Energy Ltd. has approached Kneehill County regarding a Tax Deferral Payment Agreement payment schedule for the 2021 taxes outstanding,” stated Siverson’s memo. 

“They would like to enter into a six month agreement for equal monthly instalments, and not be charged any late penalties.

“In order to assist companies during this difficult economic time, council has been pro-active in utilizing the tools as allowed by the Municipal Government Act (MGA) during the last two years. 

“The intent has been to minimize the delinquencies in payment of the annual taxes by providing time to pay without penalty. 

“We have been very successful with collections and we have a good customer looking for a shorter pre- payment period to get through this year and then be back on schedule for 2022 taxes.

“Pine Cliff has been approved for tax deferral payment agreements for the 2019 and 2020 taxes previously. 

“They have been an excellent customer with payments coming in on time each month. The 2020 taxes will be paid in full on September 30, 2021.”

A copy of Pine Cliff’s letter was given to councillors. “As you are aware, over the last several years natural gas producers have suffered through some of the lowest natural gas prices in decades,” stated the letter. “The prices recovered in late 2020 and we are now in a position to work toward having the Kneehill County municipal tax levy paid on time, in full, in 2022.”

Reeve Jerry Wittstock asked if Pine Cliff had already paid off their 2020 bill, and Siverson stated yes, their bill was scheduled to be paid off at the end of September 2021, with the new plan beginning in October.

Coun. Glen Keiver wondered if the tax deferral plan set a precedent, but did see its benefit. “I guess a bird in the hand is worth I don’t know how many out in the bush,” said Keiver.

The reeve agreed. “Well, it’s better than not getting paid, that’s for sure,” said Wittstock.

Councillors unanimously approved Pine Cliff’s request.

 

Stu Salkeld, Local Journalism Initiative reporter

ECA Review

About the author

Stu Salkeld

Stu Salkeld, who has upwards of 28 years of experience in the Alberta community newspaper industry, is now covering councils and other news in the Stettler region and has experience working in the area as well.

He has joined the ECA Review as a Local Journalism Initiative Journalist.

Stu earned his two-year diploma in print journalism from SAIT in Calgary from 1993 to ’95 and was raised in Oyen, Alta., one of the communities within the ECA Review’s coverage area.