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LETTER: Council set tax formula improperly


Open letter to commercial and residential property owners of Pictou County:

Assessment of Property Value (set by PVSC) X Tax Rate / $100 of Assessed Value (Set by Regional Council) = Tax Burden (Revenue) X + Provincial Transfer Payments (Collected for the Province) = Total Tax Burden (Paid by the Property Owner)

This formula is the only legal way to collect municipal taxes under the Municipal Government Act of Nova Scotia and is used exclusively by the Halifax Regional Municipality. Any other method is illegal. Recently, the Municipality of Pictou County knowingly passed its 2017 budget using a method that raised a profit which is illegal under the MGA. As a commercial and residential property owner in Pictou County this method of taxation will increase my tax payable this year over last and I object to the point that I intend to notify the Minister of Municipal Affairs regarding the situation.

If council had used the legal method I would be paying a lot less in overall taxes and receiving a refund. This holds true for just about every property owner in the county. I suggest that every property owner who agrees should contact their local council member and lodge their complaint. Hopefully, enough pressure on council will cause them to reverse their decision before Municipal Affairs gets involved.

The problem arises from where to put the four Provincial Property Taxes: Mandatory Education Tax, Correctional Services Tax (provincial jails), Provincial Libraries, and the Provincial Housing Deficit. Provincial law puts them as a line item added to municipal tax bills to be paid directly by property owners while municipal council has added them to the expenditures column of the annual budget to be paid from revenue where double taxation increases everyone’s annual taxes. Council knows what they’ve done but went ahead and did it anyway. Time to let them know your opinion.

Alan English

Braeshore

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