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REAL PROPERTY TAX - Collection and enforcement

Tuesday, October 29, 2019 @ 8:13 AM  

Lexis Advance® Quicklaw®
Appeal by a homeowner from refusal of relief against the City during municipal tax enforcement proceedings. The appellant owned a home mortgage-free but had a credit card debt of $51,471 registered against title. In 2012 and 2013, the appellant failed to pay property taxes owed to the City. The City registered a tax lien and commenced tax enforcement proceedings in 2015. In May 2015, the City served the appellant with six months' notice that title would be transferred unless she contested the claim or redeemed the land. The six months passed, and the City requested consent of the Provincial Mediation Board to obtain title. One month later, the City granted the appellant an extension of time to obtain a loan to pay the arrears. The appellant was unsuccessful. In 2017, the Board granted consent to the City to serve a final notice and obtain title. After further negotiations with the appellant failed to produce a resolution, the City provided final notice to the appellant in April 2018. The City took title in June and served a notice to vacate. In October 2018, the appellant applied for an order permitting her to redeem the property with judicial review of the City's decisions and related relief. A substantial portion of the claim was struck, and the entirety of the application was dismissed. The appellant appealed.

HELD: Appeal dismissed. The property tax enforcement process was a complete code regarding redemption. There was no right to redeem property outside of the processes set out in the Tax Enforcement Act. The City's registration of its interest under the Land Titles Act (LTA) did not import the LTA redemption process into the tax enforcement process. All rights of redemption were extinguished once the City took title under the tax enforcement process. The relevant decisions made by the City after it obtained title to the property were either undertaken pursuant to compulsory statutory powers, or in some instances were akin to private negotiations with the appellant and were not of a sufficiently public character to permit judicial review. Given that the appellant was unsuccessful on the merits of her application, there was no need to consider the clean hands doctrine. Lastly, there were no grounds to interfere with the chambers judge’s award of costs.

Alie-Kirkpatrick v. Saskatoon (City), [2019] S.J. No. 354, Saskatchewan Court of Appeal, R.G. Richards C.J.S., B. Barrington-Foote and J.A. Tholl JJ.A., September 19, 2019. Digest No. TLD-October282019004