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New Halifax Tax Tool Not a Magic Wand

Halifax, November 1st 2016 - Today’s amendments to the Halifax Regional Municipality Charter Act will give Halifax the tools needed to encourage commercial development while also protecting small businesses against sharp increases in property taxes due to changes in assessment.

This amendment will allow HRM to create "zones" where commercial development is taking place and set different tax rates for different amounts of assessed value to off-set sharp increases in property assessments.

"Spikes in commercial property assessments impact small businesses so significantly that they are often not able to reap the rewards associated with new development. More often than not, small businesses facing steep increases in their property assessment are forced to lay off staff, or some cases, close their doors when the property tax bill gets too high." Jordi Morgan, VP Atlantic for CFIB explained.

A recent survey of CFIB members in Nova Scotia indicated that small businesses are wary of municipalities being given enhanced power over taxation citing the exisitng tax load as evidence of municipalities treating small businesses unfairly.

Morgan added, "While this new tax tool has potential, it’s not a magic wand. There is still more to be done to rebalance the property tax load between residents and businesses in Halifax."

To arrange a media interview with Jordi Morgan, please contact Ryan Richard at (902) 420-1997 or [email protected].

CFIB is Canada’s largest association of small- and medium-sized businesses with 109,000 members across every sector and region.

November 1, 2016

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