The Village of Alix will take possession of a tax recovery property after no buyers showed interest in the parcel. The decision was made at the Dec. 2 regular meeting of council.
Village Chief Administrative Officer (CAO) Michelle White presented councillors with a memo regarding a parcel of land within the village that was offered for sale Nov. 10 for tax recovery purposes.
The CAO noted the lot is vacant, located on Main Street Alix and is described as roll #7100, lots 18 and 19, block 6, plan RN30.
Typically, if a parcel of land goes through the tax recovery process, it is publicly auctioned and after the sale the property tax bill is first paid, then any money left over is given to the former owner.
She noted the assessed value of the lot is $29,500, while the outstanding property taxes owed are $5,298.04.
White noted that the village hired a company called TAXervice which provided a summary of the unsuccessful auction.
“The public auction was held as scheduled on Nov. 10, 2020…however, the property did not sell,” stated a memo from TAXervice.
“The municipality may now become the owner of the above parcels. If the municipality chooses to take title, the property becomes exempt from future taxation.
“The only cost to the municipality in order to become the owner of the parcels is the cost to register the required forms with Alberta Land Titles.
“We recommend the municipality take title of the property not sold at auction.
“If the tax arrears and all related costs in respect of a property are paid before the municipality disposes of the property while leasing the property, the original title must be revived.
“Should the municipality choose not to sell the land but retain title in their name with a tax forfeiture registered against the title, the municipality can, after 15 years, apply to land titles to remove the tax forfeiture notice, cancel the existing title for the parcel and issue a new title in the name of the municipality.
Once this new title is issued, the municipality can use or dispose of the property without regard to the former owner.”
White stated councillors had three options before them, including taking title of the property with the intention of selling it, taking title of the property with the intention of using it for the village, or to simply leave the property registered to the current owner.
Coun. Vicki Soltermann asked why TAXervice, out of Manitoba, was hired for this job. White answered that only a few law firms, including TAXervice, take on tax recovery work.
Coun. Ed Cole asked if the tax bill continues to add up on the property. White answered taxes only continue to add up if councillors leave the property as it is.
Mayor Rob Fehr stated taking title of the property allows the village to sell it and recover the unpaid taxes.
The CAO noted that if the village takes title, village staff will maintain the property until it’s sold.
Councillors unanimously approved taking title of the land in question with the intention of selling it to pay off the unpaid property taxes.
Stu Salkeld, Local Journalism Initiative reporter