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A Bid For Fairness: How $10,000 in Property Tax Debt Led to a Vulnerable Person Losing Their Home

Wednesday, December 8, 2021

A Bid For Fairness details the case of Ms. Wilson, a vulnerable 60-year-old woman, who failed to pay her property taxes due to personal challenges and ended up losing her home.

The report makes six recommendations – five to the Ministry of Municipal Affairs and one to the City of Penticton. Specifically:

  1. Develop plain language template letters for tax sales;
  2. Develop guidelines to notify a property owner before a tax sale occurs;
  3. Amend the Local Government Act to require a municipality to provide notice by registered mail or personal service before a tax sale;
  4. Examine whether the Local Government Act should establish a starting price at auction that reflects the assessed value of a property;
  5. Issue best practice guidelines about how municipalities are to protect vulnerable property owners within the tax sale scheme; and,
  6. Compensate Ms. Wilson in the amount of $140,922.88.

The Ministry of Municipal Affairs has accepted all five recommendations. The City of Penticton has rejected the Ombudsperson’s recommendation.

To read the news release, please click here

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