Twenty-one Red Deer properties are on the 2021 list for a Nov. 3 tax sale — being held so the City of Red Deer can recoup unpaid property taxes.
Red Deer city council heard that 24 local properties were originally on the list, but property taxes were recently paid on three of them, so these were removed from the list.
Roxane Preedin, property tax controller for the City of Red Deer, told council that most of these property owners have not paid their taxes for several years, so financial problems linked to the pandemic are not considered to be factors.
“We try to work with the property owner right up to (sale day). These taxes can be paid anytime to remove a property from the sale,” Preedin told council.
She noted the number of properties on this year’s list is comparable to 2020 and is lower than in some previous years. “It is not seen as an unrealistic jump due to the economy.”
Appraised values of residential and business properties on the list range from $2.7 million down to about $10,000. The City of Red Deer contracted the services of an independent appraiser to establish current market value of these properties. Council was told the reserve bid is the average of the range of high and low values provided by the appraiser.
Council unanimously approved the 2021 tax sale list.
“We should be comforted that it takes a long legislative process for this to occur,” said Coun. Ken Johnston who referred to his previous career in banking. “It really is a four-year process.”
But Johnston is also aware that human issues — whether social or family breakdowns, life circumstances or economic management issues — are often behind these tax arrears cases.
He added, “Let us never forget there is a story behind each file.”