First of all I have to say I agree in theory everybody should pay their taxes on time plus their credit card bills, bank loans, utility bills etc, etc.
Unfortunately, the world is not perfect and sometimes for whatever reason people can’t pay their bills on time. That is why banks, credit cards, utilities and yes various levels of government (Including municipalities) get to charge penalties. Personally, I don’t have a problem with that if I am not going to pay a bill on time it should cost me more.
The issue is always are the rates being charged fair? How do we determine fair? Well in my mind you do it by comparing to what other people in the same field charge.
If it’s a credit card and the average rate is 10% I don’t have a problem being charged 10%. If it’s a utility company and the average late charge is 2% I don’t mind being charged (hold on) 2%.
So how does our municipalities 52% rate for being late compare? Is it fair? Let’s take a look at what the competition (other municipalities) are charging.
Town of Pincher Creek 22%
MD of Bonnyville 10%
MD of Greenview 18%
12% View County
Two Hills 12%
That’s just 26 examples of municipalities that I could find, on average they are charging 15.9%. Now I am sure there are municipalities out there charging higher and lower rates if somebody wants to send me those examples I would gladly add them and adjust the average number accordingly. Do I think there is any way possible to bring that 15.9% average any where close to our 52%. I think the question of fairness has been answered.