County denies Strawberry Service a tax break

Fire destroyed business in April of this year

Chris Clegg
For the Lakeside Leader

Citing the need to be consistent, Big Lakes County will not be giving a tax break to the owner of Strawberry Service as he attempts to re-open his business.

Imtiaz Akhtar attended council’s July 8 meeting, asking council to reduce his 2019 property taxes due to the fire on April 20 that destroyed the building. Strawberry Service is (or was) located on Hwy. 2, about 40 minutes west of Slave Lake.

Akhtar told council he is planning to rebuild toward the end of 2020.

Council unanimously opposed the tax break at its July 22 meeting.

During the short debate, council first heard that 2020 taxes were based on 2019 assessment, and in fact the restaurant was open all of that year.

Kinuso councillor Ken Killeen then asked if the fire would affect 2020 taxes.

Director of corporate services Heather Nanninga replied it depended on how much of Akhtar’s rebuild was complete.

Council was also told in its agenda package that previous requests were treated similarly.

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