NDP decision will increase property taxesPolitical Speak
NDP decision will increase property taxes
Days before the NDP government tabled their budget, the minister responsible for municipalities announced he was tearing up an agreement with municipalities and repealing a law of the province phasing out a requirement to pay for provincial responsibilities like public housing on property tax bills.
The agreement was based on a report called "Fair and Equitable Funding" but the NDP have ensured the province will no longer be fair and equitable with respect to their treatment of municipal property taxpayers. That decision means a property tax increase, or decreased services, for every property owner in Nova Scotia.
In 2007, the province agreed with Nova Scotians that it was unfair for municipal property taxpayers to pay for provincial services. Municipal councils have no say in how this money is spent yet they we still having to dig into their budget to prop up the provincial government. This is an issue which goes to the heart of taxation without representation. But the NDP, unwilling to get their own fiscal house in order, is doing just as they did with the HST increase - digging into the pockets of others to clean up the province's mess.
For HRM, the cost to property taxpayers will be $46 million. That's an average increase of $100 on residential property tax bills and $400 for commercial bills. Municipalities like HRM counted on these decreases in charges over the next few years when they entered into long term service contracts and collective agreements.
Public housing costs to municipalities will increase from $3.5 million to $7 million. Municipal contributions to provincial jails will increase from $10.4 million to $14 million. Those increases will mean you will pay more for property taxes. Or more in rent as your landlord has to cover rising property taxes.
This downloading of provincial costs hits lower income families and small businesses hardest. Statistics Canada has looked at property taxes and income and has found that low income property owners pay a disproportionate share of property taxes. Likewise mom and pop businesses tend to pay a disproportionate share of business property taxes. It's these groups who are under attack by the NDP government's decision. This is a decision that will hurt those families and businesses that can least afford it.
Check out my website at www.andrewyounger.ca .
Dartmouth East MLA
Source: Weekly News Dartmouth-Cole Harbour, Thursday, May 5, 2011