The City of Whitehorse could write off $294,345 in outstanding fees, bylaw fines and court fees.
At Whitehorse city council’s Jan. 18 meeting, Brittany Dixon, the city’s manager of financial services, brought forward a bylaw to write off the amount.
While the amount would be written off as most in-house collection efforts have been exhausted, Dixon explained amounts could continue to be paid.
Some accounts — such as individual’s and business accounts — will remain active with collection agencies.
The largest portion of the amounts owed comes from $263,381 in “uncollectible bylaw fines and court fees” between 2008 and 2013.
A further $20,225 is attributed to parking fines issued to non-Yukon license plates.
Three individual accounts ranging between $88.90 and $4,126.55 are also listed as two business accounts — one with Telus for $1,950 and another with JWC Environmental for $3,133.
Coun. Laura Cabott questioned the efforts made to collect from Telus, noting her thoughts that taxpayers won’t be impressed with a large corporation like Telus having an outstanding account. She stressed she wanted to make sure every attempt has been made to collect the $1,950 owed.
As Dixon explained in her report, due to an administrative error, an invoice for arena ice advertising was sent to the Telus headquarters late instead of the advertising agency that entered into the agreement with the city.
The advertising firm paid a portion of the bill, but Telus will not pay the rest because it did not enter into the advertising contract with the city, the report noted.
Meanwhile, on the outstanding $3,133 bill JWC owes the city, it was noted city administration hasn’t been able to find supporting documents for the balance owed.
“The credit predates 2009 and the vendor has since been acquired by a new firm,” reads the report. “Without the appropriate documentation to claim the credit, the city does not have further recourse in recouping this loss.”
Meanwhile, Coun. Dan Boyd wondered about the $263,381 outstanding in bylaw fines and court fees, questioning whether it would be possible to publish a list of those with outstanding fines and court fees.
While Valerie Braga, the city’s director of corporate services, said the city had sent two letters to each person, Boyd pointed out a few years ago it was only when he wanted to renew his vehicle registration that he learned of the outstanding tickets.
Anyone with outstanding tickets of more than $100 cannot renew their vehicle registration until the tickets are paid off.
He had received no such notice, he said, though he acknowledged there might have been an issue with his address.
Boyd said had he known he had outstanding tickets with the city he would have paid them earlier, suggesting it may be the same situation for others who are unaware they have outstanding tickets.
Dixon noted the city has about 5,000 names on the list representing about 1,000 each year between 2008 and 2013. Many may have moved out of the territory in that time, she said.
While this year’s list represented a five year total, Braga said in the future the list will come forward one year at a time.
Council will vote on whether to move forward with the bylaw to write off the amounts at its Jan. 25 meeting.
Contact Stephanie Waddell at firstname.lastname@example.org