Abbotsford council may soon consider how to deal with people who come into city hall seeking to pay their bills and taxes with large sums of cash.
Cities around the region have been exploring the topic due to concerns that large cash payments could be linked to criminal enterprises and money laundering. The issue was highlighted in January when a Vancouver councillor expressed concern about “bags” of cash being used to pay property taxes.
The City of Vancouver subsequently declared that it would no longer be accepting payments over $10,000, to align with Canadian money laundering rules.
Abbotsford Mayor Henry Braun raised the issue during recent budget talks. The city’s finance chief Raj Sharma confirmed that Abbotsford had also received large payments of cash.
A spokesperson later told The News in an email that city hall had received 11 payments of between $10,000 and $20,000 last year. All were made for property taxes.
During the budget talks, Braun called the issue an “important item,” and said he’d be asking to have the topic added to a future council agenda. A spokesperson later confirmed that staff are developing a policy to guide how such payments are dealt with in the future.