Provincially Appointed and Bonded Bailiff- MUNICIPAL TAX COLLECTION - OVERVIEW
Throughout the Municipal Tax recovery process we efficiently manage all aspects of the collection. We utilize state of the art technology and an industry geared data management software systems, that electronically captures all pertinent documents and reports and pictures in one streamline process for each assigned file.
Our full time administrative staff including a bookkeeper, keeps all our clients and municipal staff updated and provide quick turn around on all funds collected with accurate itemized supporting statements.
PROCESS - Our initial contact with ratepayers is by site visit to the assessed address to personally serve a Distress Warrant outlining the arrears and costs and time lines and advising all further communication and payments to be directed to the Bailiff agency. In the event of an absentee owner or one that resides at another address within the municipality, the bailiff will endeavour to make personal contact via a visit or registered mail followed by a phone call.
Site visits also provide valuable information about the property and personal matters affecting the collection of arrears.
PROFESSIONALISM AND PRIVACY - We strive to maintain a professional and discrete relationship with the ratepayer, ever mindful of good public relations as agents of the municipality, but purposeful in our prime objective of recovering outstanding property or business taxes.
Once confronted by a provincially appointed bailiff most ratepayers will rise to their fiscal responsibilities. However, when a more tactical approach is required we have various measures available to us.
Searches - that include identifying lien & mortgage holders as well as any other registered parties that may have a financial interest in the property, followed by discrete communication with those parties to advise them of the arrears. Mortgage holders do not like the threat of losing valuable equity to the tax department.
Attornment - notifying any tenants, subtenants or consignment agent that any monies owing to the ratepayer as related to the subject property must be directed to the municipality via the bailiff until such time as they are notified in writing.
Seizure - and removal of goods, equipment, vehicles or recreational items from the property and following a short notice period, those items can be sold at auction and funds used to pay down the tax arrears.
REVIEW - January 2003 Revised Municipal Act - COLLECTION OF MUNICIPAL TAX LEVY
Recent revisions to the Municipal Act encourage the use of Provincially Appointed Private Bailiff Agencies in matters of Municipal tax collection. Effective recovery of tax levies is not only the expeditious collection of receivables but the reduction and control of tax collection costs and the efficient use of Municipal resources. The following memo reviews applicable aspects of the act and describes why hiring a provincially appointed bailiff could be a Municipality's most efficient and cost effective solution to tax collection.
Section 351 - speaks to the authorized seizure of personal property.
Purpose: Reduce receivables as expeditiously as possible - reduce collection costs, reduce and maintain acceptable tax arrears ratio (uncollected/current levy).
Municipal Act Part XI - outlines tax registration/tax sale process - lengthy process 3 + 1 = 4 years - sale takes place going into the 5 th year. Municipalities do have Lien Priority - however crown liens supersede them i.e. Revenue Canada, Business Development Bank and WSIB. Also diminishing property values due to poor maintenance, environmental issues and MOE contaminations adversely affect property values.
Litigation - Section 349 : recent small claims court changes have raised ceiling to $25,000.00 - the is process costly, time consuming and a successful judgment does not guarantee collection.
Section 350 Rent Attornment - allows for seizure of rents from tenants of unpaid property taxes. Very effective collection tool however administratively onerous to police each tenant, collect in timely manner, issue receipts and keep accurate records on multiple tenants.
Section 351 - authorizes the engaging of a provincially appointed bailiff to seize assets and chattels. Bailiff costs are added to debt and are recoverable in full from the subject ratepayer - there is no financial cost to municipality . Bailiffs are authorized to conduct rental attornment and our administrative staff are experienced and efficient in the handling of such matters.
Section 351 (13) - prevents the cost of seizure by a municipal employee being posted to the tax account, therefore the hiring of bailiff frees up municipal stuff and resources while creating an additional incentive in form of a financial penalty for the ratepayer to pay.
"Time is money" literally - $1,000.00 today is not worth $1,000.00 3 years from now. Using a "time value" base calculator of 4.5% (without accrued interest), the $1,000.00 is eroded to $876.00 at the end of 3 years. With today's low earned interest rates the earning potential of that money is less than the time value cost, so uncollected money is not working efficiently for you. Money values are further eroded when a municipality is paying interest on a line of credit.