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Hector Broadcasting facing $620,000 in tax bills

Pictou County radio station owner Hector Broadcasting was told to cough up almost $620,000 by the Federal Court in the last two years.

Documents obtained from the Federal Court show New Glasgow-based Hector Broadcasting, the owner of the CKEC and CKEZ radio stations, was hit with five certificates ordering the company to pay that money under the Income Tax Act and the Excise Tax Act in 2016 and 2017.

Federal Court spokesman Andrew Baumberg said Wednesday that documents filed with the court only show about $28,450 of those monies were ever paid by Hector Broadcasting.

Although Baumberg acknowledged there is a small possibility Hector Broadcasting may have paid other monies and these might not yet have been recorded by the court, the New Glasgow company still has about $591,330 in judgments against it.

The company refused to make a comment when approached Wednesday.

The revelations of outstanding tax monies owed to the federal government come only weeks after the Dartmouth-based parent company behind national broadcaster Newcap Radio announced its intention to buy both Hector Broadcasting stations in New Glasgow.

Newfoundland Capital Corporation already owns 72 radio stations and did not divulge the price it is to pay under its deal with Hector Broadcasting in early November.

That sale still needs the approval from the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC). The green light for that deal is expected to be granted within the next four months.

In May 2012, Hector Broadcasting took a chance by launching a rock format station, telling the CRTC in its application that its first station was then listened to by 70 per cent of New Glasgow residents at least once a week.

In its third-quarter financial results, Newfoundland Capital Corporation noted it expects to add $3.3 million to its long-term debt and other liabilities because of its purchase of Hector Broadcasting’s stations.

Newfoundland Capital Corporation chief financial officer Scott Weatherby has said that figure includes the purchase price, the deal’s transaction costs and money the company has to pay for Canadian content development under the CRTC’s rules. The CRTC sets Canadian content development costs at six per cent of the purchase price of new radio stations.

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