Homeowners in Inuvik will have a bit more time to save up their property taxes this year after it was revealed the Board of Revision has been unable to meet since COVID-19 restrictions were put in place.
A plan to hold the meeting remotely was proposed during Town Council’s May 11 Committee of the Whole meeting. The board of revision needs to overlook the town’s property assessments to get final approval from the GNWT to proceed.
“People who have property tax, when they get their assessment, have 45 days to submit a complaint or to say they want to appeal what their assessment is on their property,” said senior administrative officer Grant Hood. “Normally we would do the board of revision, get the final (assessment) role, do the final budget, present it to council and get it approved with the mill rate changes, whatever they may be, and then send out the assessments. This typically takes until the end of June.”
On top of this, before the board can even meet a 21-day notice has to be issued.
Assessments with mill rates will now be sent out July 31.
Hood noted the change would not affect the town’s books, just when and how it would have to handle its accounts to keep operations going.
“All this does is actually just delay the cash inflow,” he said, adding that the Town of Hay River had already done the same thing. “We going to try and get the board of revision in. We are going to proceed with the budget as best we can, so that we’re prepared to make some final adjustments. There is one large item coming up to the board of revision that could have an impact of about $25-30,000 on our taxes, depending on which way the board goes.”
Hood said he was discussing the town’s options towards holding appeals remotely. Coun. Clarence Wood noted the town could easily meet with the assessor through the internet and at least get the ball rolling. Hood said he still needed to speak with the assessor to determine if they were willing to connect remotely, noting the decision makers in Municipal and Community Affairs had been busy up until now with COVID-19 responses and were just starting to look at how to handle property taxes.
Anyone who chooses to appeal their tax bill will have to adhere to whatever format ends up being decided upon, be that a digital meeting or other means of communication.