Thursday, June 13, 2024

Dispute over property taxes erupts at Bristol council

Charles Dickson
Bristol June 4, 2023
Before a capacity crowd at Bristol Council chambers in the Jack Graham Community Center on Monday evening, John Edelman and Jodi Armstrong, owners of the Norway Bay Golf Course at Astra Estates, voiced their objections to being charged what they consider to be punitive taxes by the Municipality of Bristol.
The dispute revolves around an assessment of the property value used by the municipality in levying taxes on the owners of the golf course. Edelman and Armstrong say the assessment was much too high and that a provincial tribunal has since agreed and set the value much lower.
Mayor Brent Orr explained that until the tribunal’s findings have been officially communicated and new numbers have been entered into the computer program that guides the municipality on such matters, Council will stand by its requirement for full payment of outstanding taxes based on the original assessment, plus interest accumulated over the several years since.
A council decision last month set Thursday, June 8, as the deadline by which full payment must be received, failing which Council will put the property up for sale, despite Edelman’s statement that he has paid the taxes in full, based on the tribunal’s assessment, though not the interest being charged at 18 per cent on the municipality’s higher assessment. A motion by Norway Bay councillor Valerie Twolan to waive the accumulating debt and reverse the decision to sell the property went down to a 5-to-1 defeat, with Twolan casting the only vote in support of the motion, much to the audible disapproval of many of the 40 members of the public in attendance.


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