City cracks down on delinquent taxpayers

Municipality hires law firm to reclaim some of the $1.3 million owed



The City of Iqaluit is using territorial legislation to reclaim some of the $1.3 million it is owed in back taxes.

The city hired lawyer Charles Thompson, of the Yellowknife firm Peterson, Stang and Malakoe, to sell Sikkiniq Latrielle’s home in Apex.

Legislation passed in 1997 allows the city to sell municipal properties in order to collect outstanding taxes.

Latrielle owes $79,745, but refuses to respond to court orders to pay up. He now lives in Almonte, Ontario, just outside of Ottawa.

“The respondent has had notice of the application…. He has no assets in Nunavut and has not lived here since 1997. Aside from the city [recouping money from the sale of the house], the city has no other way of collecting the taxes owed,” Thompson said to Justice Earl Johnson Sept. 12 in the Nunavut Court of Justice.

Six statements of claim against five people, including Latrielle, and one business, were filed with the Nunavut Court of Justice in October 2001.

The other people named in statements of claim are: Richard Bradley who owes $89,237, Jetaloo Kakee who owes $109,685, Akeeshoo and Alicee Joamie who owe $37,779, and Group One (JM) Holdings Inc. which owes $29,950.

But property is not the only valuable the city is after.

On June 20, the city was granted a court order to garnishee $1,919 from Jonah Kelly’s Iqaluit bank account. The retired broadcaster owes the city more than $130,000 in backdated taxes — the single largest sum owed by one resident.

John Hussey, the city’s financial controller, said approximately $155,000 has been recouped from 28 residents and businesses since the city published its list of 118 delinquent taxpayers in July.

Another nine people set up payment plans to repay another $75,000.

Of the 118 people on the list, about 75 have received written warnings stating the city will attempt to sell their properties in January 2003.

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