Martin Loney | Mar 20, 2019
In common, no doubt, with other miscreants, I recently received an intimidating "tax recovery process notification" from Central Frontenac. What was the offence that triggered this, with its implicit threat of imminent legal action? I had missed, by a whole two weeks, the deadline for the first installment of the 2019 property taxes. True, I had been away when the notice was delivered and had paid not only the first installment but the (not yet due) second within a day of my return. I am not even a serial offender, having dutifully paid Central Frontenac's endlessly increasing taxes for many years.
The notification seemed unnecessarily heavy handed and I requested some explanation from Township treasurer Michael McGovern. McGovern saw no problem with the approach and assured me, as though this was some kind of justification, that it was allowed by the Municipal Act. What of the predatory penalty for late payment, some 16% annually? No problem, that too was allowed by the Municipal Act. What interest was paid for early payment? None. That was not required by the Municipal Act.
Central Frontenac could allow citizens more latitude, it could send out a polite reminder to those who haven't yet paid, it could charge a rate of interest commensurate with Central Frontenac's costs. Instead, it treats those who pay the bills as adversaries to be threatened and when they complain to be fed bureaucratize. It is a corporate culture which does not serve residents well.