The City of Trail is reporting a “clerical error” in 2023 property tax assessments.
Semantics aside, what does this mean for the taxpayer?
In short, next year you’ll be paying for it.
That’s in addition to any 2024 tax increases.
In the meantime, the $630,000 was pulled from general surplus, or savings, to cover the miscalculation.
“The City of Trail finance team has identified a clerical error in the compiling of its 2023 property tax notices,” the city stated in an Aug. 31 press release.
The error occurred when the amount of tax to be collected by the city on behalf of the Regional District of Kootenay Boundary (RDKB) was entered incorrectly.
This error resulted in a shortfall of $630,000, or two per cent, of the city’s total taxes to be collected for 2023.
“This means all tax classes were undercharged in 2023.”
To ensure the RDKB received the correct requisition for 2023, the city paid the regional district in full by using general surplus funds to cover the $630,000 shortfall.
“The city will recover these funds from taxpayers as part of the 2024 property tax calculations,” the release reads. “Adjustments will be reflected in the 2024 property tax statements.”
In the city’s statement, Colin McClure, Trail’s chief administrative officer/chief financial officer, apologized for the error,
“It is my responsibility to ensure these tax calculations are correct, and I deeply regret not identifying this mistake,” he said.
“I want to assure Trail taxpayers that we have instituted additional safeguards and enhanced checks to prevent the recurrence of such miscalculations in the future.”
On the average single-family dwelling, which was $388,000 in 2023, property owners were undercharged by $94, or $.24 per $1,000 of assessed values, according to the city.
For business class, this mistake resulted in an undercharge of $.59 per $1,000 of assessment.