The percentage of unpaid property taxes has increased in the last five years.
Property taxes for the year were due by July 2.
The percentage of unpaid taxes has increased by seven per cent since 2006 and by one per cent over 2009.
Property owners who didn’t pay their taxes face some heavy fines. Dianne Hunter, the city manager, says a 10 per cent penalty is applied to the outstanding balance and Hunter says no other penalties are applied until Jan. 1.
As of July 3, the city had collected 86 per cent of both business and residential property taxes owing.
The total amount of property taxes owed to the city this year was nearly $36 million of which there is just under $5 million that has not been collected. The total penalty owing on the unpaid amount is approximately $372,000.
Hunter says after July 3, some businesses make a decision not to pay the amount until later in the year because there are no further penalties incurred until the next year.
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She adds that if someone does not pay their taxes over a three year period, then the land goes into a tax sale and if the owner hasn’t paid all taxes owed by the fourth year, then the city can take possession of the land.
This was the first year in which credit cards were not accepted for property tax payments.