Sponsors: City of Prince Rupert
Endorsed by the NCLGA Membership - Defeated by the UBCM Membership
WHEREAS municipalities become the owners of properties arising through the mandatory provisions of Community Charter/Local Government Act legislation that regulates Municipal Property Tax Sales;
AND WHEREAS the municipal title to the property can then be disputed in a court of law or other tribunal;
AND WHEREAS the property title disputes prevent municipalities from transferring title to another purchaser and thereby hinders the sale of the property;
AND WHEREAS the holding costs, the legal costs, as well as opportunity costs while title is resolved can be extremely expensive and burdensome to a municipality:
THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED that NCLGA and UBCM respectively request that the Province amend the Community Charter and Local Government Act so that a municipality’s clear title to a property as a result of the operation of the Municipal Tax Sale Process cannot be disputed in a court of law or other tribunal.
UBCM Comments: The UBCM membership has not previously considered a resolution requesting legislative amendments to eliminate the right of a former owner of a tax sale property to dispute the sale in court.
However, UBCM members have consistently endorsed resolutions calling for reform to the tax sale process, including eliminating the tax sale auction (2005-B17), providing authority for a municipality to set aside a tax sale for reasons of manifest error (2005-B86), shortening the redemption period (2000-B2) and increasing penalties and interest during the redemption period (1984-A8).
UBCM would observe that while all of these resolutions are aimed at finding efficiencies in the tax sale process, none appear to limit the ability of the former owner of the property to dispute the process in court. Further, UBCM would question whether denying access to the courts is appropriate in the circumstances, given the potential significance of the loss of the property to the former owner.