Tim Horton's Antigonish

Richmond County Looks to Update and Maintain Tax Rolls

Richmond County wants to find out which property owners have gone decades without paying municipal taxes.

Warden Amanda Mombourquette said during budget deliberations, it was brought to council’s attention there are properties on the tax roll that do not have assessment account numbers assigned.

After further review, Warden Mombourquette said there was a need to update the tax roll, which would require resources and staff time.

Deputy Warden Michael Diggdon wanted to know why it took so long to find those properties, and whether the municipality should contact Property Valuation Services Corporation.

CAO Don Marchand said staff did not have time to make those updates, and he said PVSC is responsible for assessing and matching numbers, but this is a problem many rural municipalities have or are dealing with.

He said if council wishes, staff can assess what needs to be done, then report back to council.

Diggdon said the municipality missed the boat on hundreds of thousands of dollars in the last 30 years, noting that some people “got a freebie”during this time, while others paid what they should have. He said a look at random parcels of land by the CAO and staff, showed eight out of 10 without numbers.

To get everyone on an equal playing field, the deputy warden introduced a motion to review the assessment accounts.

Diggdon also proposed that staff look at fire levies which he said are being charged inconsistently in the municipality.

District 3 Councillor Melanie Sampson recommended the municipality reach out to other units to get an idea of their experiences going over the tax list, including costs and the results.

Council approved a motion to instruct staff to conduct an assessment by consulting with other municipalities, then come up with a strategy to update and maintain tax rolls for all taxes, including fire levies, following budget deliberations