Ratepayers represent property tax grievance

Elkhorn business owners appear for a fourth time at the RM Council meeting.

Ratepayers in the RM of Wallace-Woodworth, Glen Tapp and Effie Kallichuk appeared before council on Feb. 11.

In their presentation at the regular council meeting Tapp said, “We are requiring a full refund of property tax over-payment, back to and including 2008, plus interest of one per cent per month.”

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Their request reflected the fact that they felt there had been a mistake in how their property was being assessed.

Tapp and Kallichuk had requested reassessment in 2019.They are the owners of The Gardens Diner, a restaurant located near the TransCanada Highway, at Elkhorn.

Kallichuk said, “We had the assessment lowered this year, but it was lowered because the frontage was always in the wrong place. We were paying because of frontage on the service road. [The assessor] moved it over to the avenue where it always should have been.”

Reeve Clayton Canart said, “I believe it’s their ability to do that…. So in the previous 11 years, if you had appealed when you had the opportunity, you could have stated that and showed that.”

Tapp referred several times in the meeting to Section 15 (1) of the Municipal Assessment Act, “Any previous errors do not invalidate the roll or affect the liability of the person to pay taxes….”

It was a point that Chief Administrative Officer Garth Mitchell had made in a letter of response written to the couple in Dec. 2019.

Tapp and Kallichuk stated they were not asking for their taxes to be cancelled, but for a repayment for overcharges on taxes, due to what they termed as an error in previous years’ assessments.

Canart told the ratepayers that it was unlikely that they could expect a refund regarding taxation going back to 2008.

Canart said, “This just started when you were appealing your assessment, which you are welcome to do every two years, and you haven’t done that until this year. You’ve had the previous 11 years of opportunity to appeal your assessment and you haven’t done it.”

But, he agreed that council could consider their issue again.

“If you are saying there’s things we are not following properly, we have to look into those,” Canart said.

Tapp and Kallichuk were adamant that there is nothing in the assessment act that prevents going back to straighten out a mistake in assessment from years gone by.

This cordial but intense discussion was the couple’s fourth appearance before council on this matter.


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