By Alex Rinfret-Port Clements council has turned down an appeal from a resident to reverse a property tax late payment penalty, saying to do so would be unfair to anyone else who has ever paid a late penalty.
In a letter to council, Gloria O’Brien said she had every intention of paying her property taxes on July 4, the day they were due. Because she was flying off the islands that morning, she left the job of delivering the cheque to the village office to her clerk.
Her clerk arrived at the village office between 3:30 and 4 pm, only to discover that it had already closed for the day. (The office closes at 1 pm.) The clerk returned first thing the next morning to pay.
The late payment penalty is 10 percent of the taxes due, in this case $1,446.
Considering the matter at a meeting Wednesday night (July 20), councillor Gerry Johnson said the village’s office hours are well established, the late payment penalty is standard practice in municipalities across the province, and there is little the village can do in the situation.
“This is a matter where we have no flexibility,” said mayor Dale Lore, pointing out that if they agreed to forgive this penalty, they would have to forgive every other late fine.
Council members voted to write Ms O’Brien a letter informing her that they are unable to reverse the penalty.
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