With a little more than a month before the city could sell them at auction, the list of property tax scofflaws has been whittled down dramatically.
Just 14 properties still haven't coughed up their property taxes for the past two years, with the city owed a total of nearly $425,000.
The bulk of that — more than $300,000 — is owed by the Shape Foods flax processing plant in Brandon's east end. The plant had earned nearly a perennial spot on the tax arrears list, tending to pay at the last minute.
Most of the rest of the properties owe less than $10,000 in combines 2012 and 2013 taxes. Eleven of the 14 are private homes.
When first released near the beginning of the year, more than 200 properties were listed as two years behind in their taxes. About half of them paid up in the first month.
While it doesn’t matter to the city when the debt is paid, the longer the properties stay on the list, the higher their debt becomes. Every month there is a 1.25 per cent interest charge.
Property owners in arrears shouldn’t be caught off guard, as they are given many notices. TAXervice, the agency hired by the city to recover property tax arrears, sends out notices via registered mail, as well as personal service to the registered owner.
Property owners must pay the 2012 portion by the Oct. 16 deadline or they could lose their property in a public auction.
Two properties were auctioned off last year.