A taxing surprise

By David F. Rooney
Some Arrow Heights residents have been seeing red since opening a recent letter from the City, which claims they now have to pay a sewer frontage tax even though they are on a septic system.
The letter, which was sent to residents who live along Airport Way, says that, according to Bylaw 1457 “a frontage tax shall be and is imposed on each parcel of land which is capable of being connected to a sewer main, whether or not such parcel is actually connected to a sewer main.”
Area resident Brigitte Ortwein said she was surprised to receive the letter because she had never before been dinged for the “sewer frontage tax” of $1.50 a foot for the 101.8 feet her property runs along the sewer line.
“This is the first time the City has demanded this,” she told The Current, adding that her neighbours on Airport Way also received similar letters.
About nine years ago a sewer main was installed from Revelstoke Mountain Resort along Camozzi Road, Nichol Road and Airport Way and from there across the Illecillewaet River to the sewage treatment plant. At that time, residents were invited to hook their homes to the line, but not everyone did.
Mayor Mark McKee says he has heard from a number of Arrow Heights residents and plans to investigate the matter.
“This warrants a conversation by Council,” he said, adding that Council “should have been told before the fact” that municipal officials were planning on sending out the letter.
While Council will discuss this at its next meeting, property owners who object to paying this tax can appeal their assessment before a Parcel Tax Roll Review Panel that will be meeting at 10 am on Friday, May 8, in the Council Chambers in Suite 102 at 103 Second Street East.
Anyone planning on appealing this tax must notify Deputy Director of Finance Tania McCabe in writing at least 48 hours prior to the panel’s first sitting on Friday.
Letters can be dropped off to her at City Hall or they can be sent via e-mail to finance@revelstoke.ca.