Taxpayer gets overpayment back with interest

February 26, 2013

cheque

The LaSalle taxpayer who paid 2013 garbage and water taxes twice—once in April and a second time in December—has been fully refunded. He got a cheque from Montreal for the extra $140 he paid plus $1.95 interest.

“I’m relieved that someone in Montreal’s tax department has carefully done their job,” said Ruxanda Ioan. “I’d like to thank them for taking care of this issue.”

As we’ve pointed out in previous articles, Ruxanda was among 2000 LaSalle property owners whose buildings were identified as possibly housing basement apartments in an exterior building survey last summer. Last fall, the tax department sent notices and invoices to some of these property owners; others will get them in the next week or two.

Ruxanda’s notice was accompanied by a bill for the unit that doesn’t exist plus a bill for $140 for his own unit. The bills were accompanied by a very confusing letter that directed him to visit the borough and pay $5 to correct the problem. Some 350 LaSalle residents followed those directions last November.

In conversations with Montreal tax officials, however, it turns out that the $5 fee pays for an affidavit confirming that an extra unit exists, but is used exclusively by the building owner. Those in Mr. Ruxanda’s situation are not supposed to pay anything; they’re supposed to call and have an inspector verify that an additional unit does not exist.

Despite so many points of confusion, the tax department plans no changes whatsoever to the process. “There aren’t any plans to change the letter,” said Patricia Lowe, spokesperson for the City of Montreal. Lowe says that the borough of LaSalle will explain the process to people when they phone with questions.

Ruxanda also has to wait until next year to verify that the tax roll for his building reflect only two units rather than three. “It’s in the process of being corrected,” says Lowe. “The assessment roll is in the process of being drawn up for 2014. It will be updated on the new roll when it’s tabled in September 2013. The new roll will go into force for 2014, 2015 and 2016.”

Note: This article appeared on p9 of the City Edition of the Suburban, February 13, 2013.

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Tracey Arial

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Tracey Arial

Tracey Arial helps Canadians grow with notable nonfiction and urban agriculture.

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