Friday, March 16, 2018

Councillor Cunningham looks to property tax solution to issue of derelict and unsightly properties

Councillor Barry Cunningham returned to the theme of the city's
unsightly buildings and properties on Monday night. Offering what he
believes could be a solution to collecting on fines that are issued by the City

If City Council follows through on a suggestion from Councillor Barry Cunningham from Monday night, when they head to For Nelson this May for the annual NCLGA convention, they'll be bringing a resolution related to derelict buildings with them.

With the Prince Rupert delgation looking to share notes on how to address the issue  with other municipal governments in Northern British Columbia.

On Monday, Councillor Cunningham, followed up on some comments earlier in the evening from Councillor Niesh on what to do with empty properties in town. With Mr. Cunningham making note that at times it has been hard for the city to collect on fines for property owners that do not take proper care of their buildings or property, a topic which has been a frustration for the Councillor for the last few years.

A sample of some of that concern can be found below:

August 2017 -- Councillor Cunningham keeps heat on City Council over condition of downtown buildings
May 2017 -- Few options available to Council to force Clean Up of downtown eyesores
December 14 -- Councillor Cunningham wants action on lack of snow clearing on absentee owner properties
April 2016 -- Cunningham calls for hiring of an additional By-Law officer

To remedy that problem, he offered up a potential solution of looking to find a way to impose those fines as part of the property tax payment process, looking to transfer the enforcement of the unsightly premises fines to the annual payment on property in July.

"If for some unknown reason, we actually do fine someone for unsightly  premises, or things like that and we have difficulty collecting it we can put it on to their taxes. I don't believe that process exists right now and  it seems to be a reason why we are not going after these unsightly properties because it's too difficult to fine them and collect it"

City Staff will investigate the situation further, before Council members make their way to Fort Nelson for the four day NCLGA gathering that is set to take place from May 7 to 10.

You can take in his presentation to Council from the City's Video Archive below, his unsightly premises observations start at the thirty nine minute mark.

More items of note on civic taxes can be found here.

For a look at some of the other items of Monday nights Council session see our Council Timeline feature here.

A larger overview of Council Discussion topics can be found as part of our Council Discussion Archive here.

To return to the most recent blog posting of the day, click here.

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