And more evidence proving oil and gas companies must provide ample advance funds to be held in trust and used to pay bills and clean up when companies refuse to or dance happily into responsibility avoiding court-enabled bankruptcies, before being granted approvals or licencing, via AER or any other authority like municipal councils.
County of Barrhead writes off more than $2 million in taxes and penalties by Barry Kerton, Oct 22, 2019, The Barrhead Leader
It was something they didn’t want to do, but in the end, they didn’t have a choice.
That was the consensus of County of Barrhead councillors at their Oct. 15 meeting as they unanimously voted to write off $2,025,142.21 in tax revenue and penalties. [This total is much less than summarized below}
The outstanding taxes were accumulated by three oil and gas companies — Sequoia Resources Corp, Trident Exploration (WX) Corp and Trident Exploration (Alberta) — from 2017 to 2019.
Later in the meeting, the councillors also directed administration to apply for the Designated Industrial Requisition Credit (DIRC), as well as the Provincial Education Requisition Credit (PERC).
County manager Debbie Oyarzun said the demise of these companies and some recent court decisions that have made municipalities unsecured creditors — most notably the Alberta Court of Appeal’s decision in the case of Northern Sunrise County versus Virginia Hills Oil Corp. —have made it nearly impossible to collect the monies that are owed.
“We’ve done a lot of digging around to see what is available to us in an attempt to recover as much of these dollars as possible and have determined it is time to apply for PERC and DIRC,” she said.
Trident Exploration (Alberta) owes the most outstanding taxes at $2,205,142.21, with $1,279,400 being taxes and $296,053.62 coming in as penalties. The remaining funds come in the form of the education requisition ($207,682.23) and industrial requisition ($3,236.05) the province requires municipalities to collect on its behalf.
Trident Exploration (WX) owes the county $230,371.59, including $167,164.70 in outstanding taxes, $33,205.22 in penalties, $29,535.91 owed in outstanding education requisitions and $465.76 in designated industrial requisitions.
Sequoia Resources Corp. owes $56,510.53, including $14,907.35 in penalties. They also owe $7,479.70 and $37.21 in education and designated industrial requisitions respectively.
Finance and administration director Tamara Molzahn noted the only tool at their disposal to recoup any of the money was through the province’s PERC and DIRC programs, which require a company to be in receivership and the likelihood of the municipality collecting on its debt to be virtually nil. [demented petro-state system with Kenney handing out billions of dollars in gifts to abusive running from clean up oil and gas companies, making billions in profits, like these three refusing to pay their bills (the more billions Kenney gives, the nastier and more polluting, harmful and bankrupting the companies become), dancing like a fool in CAPP’s war room, trying to put Alberta women back raped in the cave and desperately trying to be PM]
Although the receivership process isn’t complete in all three cases, Molzahn said they all meet the province’s criteria for applying.
Molzahn noted that while they have until early in the new year to apply, she recommended doing so sooner rather than later.
“We know that funding is limited, but we don’t know how many applications have been made or if [the province]plans to extend the programs,” she said.”
To deal with the shortfall, the county will need to dip into its reserves, most notably the uncollectable tax reserve at $1.64 million.
Molzahn said they would also take the remaining $889 out of the general tax stabilization reserve. The latter is low because they used more than $800,000 to bolster the uncollectable tax reserve.
She added they will also completely clean out the assessment reserve by taking out $44,441.25, along with $317,591.93 from the unrestricted reserves, a move that will leave the account with roughly $85,130.
Molzahn said she is hopeful that they will receive $240,000 in PERC funding and another $4,000 from DIRC.
“They aren’t guaranteed funds, but we should get them in 2020. Unfortunately, we can’t use them to offset this year,” she said.
Oyarzun stressed that the county doesn’t receive PERC and DIRC credits in the form of actual money. Instead, whatever they receive will be taken off of the amount the county owes for its education and designated industrial requisitions.
Coun. Darrell Troock said he was concerned that by draining their reserves, it would put them in a vulnerable position if residents and companies continue to be in tax arrears.
He also suggested that the county should institute a bonding system for oil and gas companies.
Oyarzun said that wouldn’t solve their problem, as anything they collected would be reserved to repair damage companies did to the county’s roads.
“And if they went into receivership, we would be put at the bottom of the pile,” she said.
However, Oyarzun said she has asked the Alberta Energy Regulator (AER) what steps they have taken to ensure companies buying the assets of companies in receivership are not able to do the same thing again.
[Of course AER will ensure the rip offs continue again and again and again, until the oil and gas industry, mostly foreign-funded (where’s Steve Allen?), will have raped Alberta empty leaving the public (including Canadians, not just the Albertans that supposedly benefited from the endless ripoffs and spews of toxic pollution) hung with trillions of dollars in unpaid bills (rent to landowners; fence, water well, crop damages, etc; billions in infrastructure damages and health harms; hundreds of billions in mandated clean up not cleaned up; etc). And how many billions will the “drinking” water intentionally contaminated and permanently lost via frac’ing or injection for enhanced recovery across Alberta be worth in 5 or 4 years? Is already worth now?]
“They [the AER]said they do look into the solvency of the new company but they are looking at putting in a more rigorous process going forward,” she said. [AER has known about this problem since before the govt changed their name from ERCB, and before that name was changed from EUB! Nothing “rigorous” gets done, except talk and promises of more talk and lots of propagandizing synergy, all to ensure that the rape continues, unabated.]
Molzahn agreed they had very “few tools in their arsenal” but are looking into the possibility of asking companies to enter into a tax payment instalment plan right upfront before they fall behind. [Pfffffffffffffffffffft! Why on earth would any company pay via instalments when they know they are enabled by AER and govt to get away with murder in Alberta and not pay their bills/not pay to clean up?]
“We can’t force them to accept an instalment plan, but at least then we would have some security,” she said.
Refer also to:
Mega list of bankrupt companies! Kenney’s $30 Million McCarthyism War Room renamed “Alberta Energy Information Centre” (AER’s 100%-industry-funded ass): PetroPimps’ Propaganda Hanky Panky Bunker to Spy ‘n Lie for CAPP ‘n Koch ‘n Encana ‘n Harper? Just New West Partnership cont’d?
Lacombe Alberta: Herr Lecturer, Journalist Andrew Nikiforuk, warns $260B worth of oil and gas industry liabilities could be dumped on taxpayers. “Most companies that have gone into fracking are short of cash, highly indebted and barely making a go of it.”
The orchestrated fraud & corporate welfare stench grows! Alberta municipalities abused by Petro-Pussy Premier Jason Kenney (Steve Harper/Koch Bros spawn?) to feed industry’s insatiable greed “now own what they voted for!”
Alberta: More corporate welfare stench! 65,000 shallow gas wells qualify to get more than $23M in freebies from taxpayers. Again, not a penny for Albertans suffering frac quake damages, drinking water loss/contamination, health harm, loss of livestock etc.
“Effectively, the shale boom is over.” Colorado’s 8 largest public oil & gas producers spent $27 Billion more than they made in past 5 years. Is that why Alberta gov’t wants our pensions? To feed the bleed via AIMCo?
Kenney warns Albertans to brace for major cuts while giving massive tax cuts to rich corporations. CitizenWhoPaysTaxes: “Mom… how come we can’t have any nice things? Shut up son and wave to the nice Mr Kenney.”
Alberta increasing Oilpatch Welfare while enabling more harms and pollution and hundreds of $Billions in liabilities. Red Deer County caves, slashes taxes for shallow gas producers, gives zero tax relief for frac’d water well owners and farms. Where will the $5 Million shortfall come from? Why not from Kenney’s $30 Million Oilpatch Pimping Propaganda Room?
“Unconscionable!” Diana Daunheimer on Rachel Notley’s NDP giving $50 Million from education taxes paid by Albertans to municipalities to cover oil & gas companies not paying their taxes (after years of massive profit taking)
Carbon Tax Synergy Frac Dance: Govts, oil industry, environmental groups, universities, First Nations dancing happily together. “One key reason: Those taxes are probably good for their natural-gas businesses” keeping big oil bribes rolling in for a greedy few while frac harm & pollution escalates
2015: Coming soon to an Alberta rural home near you: Double property taxes? Triple? Canadian Association of Petroleum Producers (CAPP) not happy with being able to freely destroy roads and other tax payer funded infrastructure, massive deregulation, regulators looking the other way while abusing harmed citizens, now asking municipalities for more
2014: Encana to double oil output with $3.1-billion Eagle Ford Texas purchase; Encana debt about $7.1-billion end 2013, 2.5 times its adjusted earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation, amortization