Wishart Law Firm LLP

Municipal Tax Arrears

Helping municipalities collect arrears owed


Traditionally, municipalities have only had a few options when it comes to property taxes in arrears. Now, Wishart Municipal Group is offering a new Tax Arrears program to help municipalities collect what they are owed.


   - Not appropriate for all properties
   - Last resort now that Bill 68 has passed – Excess funds get paid to the Province, NOT to the
   - Bill 68 allows tax sale after two years in arrears


   - Demand Letters
   - Payment Agreement
         o WMG has developed a contract that will preserve the Municipality’s Right to proceed with a tax sale on default
   - Searches
   - Other Enforcement Methods
         o Seizure of assets
         o Negotiated land transfers
         o Land donations to Municipality
   - Tax Sale as last resort


   - 1 Municipality, $280,000 in arrears over 3 years old
   - 72% of arrears collected or under contract within 60 days


   - Treasurer “hands off” enforcement saving municipality staff time
         o Double benefit because;
               A) Treasurer not doing enforcement
               B) Treasurer doing other work
         o Fees passed onto taxpayer
   - More effective than Collection Agency
         o Collection Agencies frequently enforce against high value properties and spend little to no effort on low value properties
   - Using Tax Sale as last resort Results in less expense and faster enforcement in most cases


   - Substantially cheaper than Collection Agency
         o Collection agencies typically charge 30% on top of arrears
   - Not starting with tax registration avoids breach of mortgage terms – allows a ratepayer to borrow to pay arrears
   - Respectful enforcement recognizes that there are often reasons why a taxpayer is in arrears
   - WMG’s positive approach is praised by taxpayers and yields substantial results

Please click here for our tax arrears flyer


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