Residents of Pincourt have been quick to express their discontent at a surprise tax that seems to have been sprung on them without warning.
In a local Facebook group, the Pincourt public shared their concerns and upset at a new tax that has them paying over the next 30 years.
The charge is the apparent result of a decision made by the city to save Rousseau Woodland, a greenspace property that was purchased by the city in 2020. It had previously been privately owned since the 1950s.
Over the course of the past few years, residents of the town voiced their concerns about the potential loss of the forest, vouching for its importance to the community.
Last year, a vote was cast by community members to decide the fate of the woodland. The town voted in favor of saving the forest, which meant homeowners would split the cost of the property’s purchase.
Pincourt purchased all 46 lots of land that make up the forest early on in 2021. Now that citizens are receiving the financial breakdown – and a tax fee for the next 30 years – they are less thrilled about the forest’s fate.
Many residents of Pincourt feel as though the city was too vague in the information provided and was unclear as to just how much property fees for the forest would cost.
Now, some residents are receiving letters informing them they will owe anywhere between 700 and 7000 dollars which can be paid outright, or divided over the next 30 years with a 5% interest rate.
As one resident explained, a small amount paid over 30 years and taxed at 5% adds up to nearly double the original amount. That said, not everyone has 700$ lying around – to be paid in three weeks – especially with the holiday season fast approaching.
Residents feel caught between a rock and a hard place.
Allegedly, the fee each household will be responsible for is dependent on proximity to the forest, with those closest paying the most. Unfortunately, had the amount been divided evenly amongst all Pincourt residents, it would have been a much lighter financial burden to bear for all parties involved.
Residents who live near Rousseau Forest say all of Pincourt benefits from it equally.
Homeowners who choose to pay the amount in full to avoid the 5% interest rate must do so by November 18th, 2021.