Halifax staff propose 5.9% property tax increase

Halifax staff are proposing a 5.9% property tax increase for the next fiscal year, which will be debated by regional council on November 23.

The increase is made up of 2.9% to cover increased service costs and 3.0% for a proposed climate action tax.

That translates to an annual tax increase of $ 121 on an average home in Halifax, valued at $ 262,700. Trade taxes would increase on average by $ 2,553, based on an average trade valuation of $ 1.46 million.

According to a statement released Friday, inflation is having a “considerable” effect on municipal finances, with a 40% increase in fuel costs, a $ 2.9 million increase in the RCMP collective agreement and 4 millions of other contract increases.

Funds are also needed to redevelop sites such as the Halifax Forum, Windsor Street Exchange and the Mill Cove Ferry, as well as to improve 13 “multimodal transportation corridors” around the municipality.

The climate action tax would finance the purchase of 60 electric transit buses and renovate an electric bus garage. It would also help municipal buildings to be more energy efficient.

Some of this infrastructure works are driven by population growth. The municipality predicts that 9,700 new residents will arrive in the city next year, while 4,000 new homes will be built.

Halifax’s population is set to exceed 500,000 over the next five years, the statement said.

About $ 700 million in capital spending is still unfunded in this proposal, including $ 26 million for the expansion of Halifax transit service, $ 80 million for a new police headquarters, $ 179 million for the HalifACT municipal climate plan and $ 415 million for 250 new electric buses and associated infrastructure. .

The tax return says that historically, tax increases in Halifax have not kept pace with inflation and that the city has lower taxes than cities of similar size elsewhere in Canada. Trade taxes, however, are described as “more in the middle of the road,” comparable to cities of similar size in Canada.

A “sustainable tax policy approach” in the future would lead to “relatively lower” tax increases in the years to come, according to the report.

City staff cannot comment on the tax plan until it is discussed by council.

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Penny D. Jackson