know your property rights as they relate to
taxes in arrears
We have had a number of enquiries from landowners who have received a copy of a property tax arrears notice from the BC Surveyor of Taxes, for well sites on their land.
This is a concern because it may indicate that the oil and gas company is in financial trouble. Here are two facts that we have confirmed with the Surveyor of Taxes:
- The landowner will not be liable for the outstanding taxes because the asset being taxed is not a fee simple asset, it is a lease.
- There will be no collection action against rural landowners.
There is cause for concern if a company is in financial difficulty. A landowner needs to be aware in case a company abandons its operations, so that recourse can be sought through the Oil and Gas Commission’s Orphan Fund for clean-up and removal.
If you have paid tax arrears or penalties this year, seek a refund from the Surveyor of Taxes at your Government Agent’s office.
Fort St. John: 250-787-3350 Dawson Creek: 250-784-2224 Chetwynd: 250-788-2239