The City of Lacombe is removing a bylaw that treats mobile homeowners different than other residents.
The bylaw requires mobile homeowners to pay taxes by Jan. 15 every year, rather than in May, like the owners of other dwellings.
The concern was raised at a public session earlier this year, where a new resident brought up the different dates to Coun. Cora Hoekstra.
“Historically, there was probably good reasons why some of these decisions are made, but that doesn’t mean those decisions still apply to today, and for these citizens, it was fantastic they came forward and asked why,” Hoekstra said.
The bylaw, which was implemented in 1996, was “To limit the risk to the municipality of not collecting taxes on mobile homes located on leased or rented land. The risk is due to the ability of moving mobile homes off the land before tax bills are levied and payments received.”
The actual risk of not collecting taxes on these properties has been negligible — with the city historically receiving 100 per cent of the amount it was owed.
“I think your average citizen in Lacombe would never have imagined that some residents get their tax assessment in May, whereas if you live in a mobile home park, that would happen in January.
“The citizens were saying, ‘Why are we treated differently?’” Hoekstra said.
“We don’t want citizens thinking they are being treated differently, and I commend those citizens for asking us to look at this,” Hoekstra said, adding she encourages other citizens to bring questions forward.
“Sometimes the rationale is 100 per cent a good reason, whereas in this instance, it didn’t make sense anymore. I commend the city staff for helping us make that change,” she said.