Power rates to stay static

NSP’s fuel bill raises concer n JOANN ALBERSTAT BUSINESS REPORTER  jalberstat@herald.ca @CH_JAlberstat For the first time in four years, Nova Scotia Power customers aren’t facing a general rate hike next year. But the status of the utility’s $95-million unpaid fuel bill for last year remains up in the air. The utility announced Tuesday that it won’t ask the provincial Utility and Review Board to adjust electricity prices in 2015. It is the first time since 2010 that general rates haven’t increased. “We know price certainty, stability and affordability are important to our customers,” president and CEO Bob Hanf said in a news release.…

Fiscal picture looks rosy in HRM, at least for now

MARILLA STEPHENSON  mstephenson@herald.ca @CH_Marilla Shed no tears for Halifax. Regional council unanimously passed an $845-million budget Tuesday that includes lower resid­ential and commercial tax rates, with no tax increases for 88 per cent o f homeowners in the com­ing year. The story was not quite as rosy on the commercial side, with 43 per cent of commercial properties s eeing a ris e in tax bills for the coming year. But of the roughly 2,200 commercial accounts where taxes will rise, half are either new or upgraded proper­ties. In all, 1,330 new homes or renovation projects were con­structed in the Halifax region last year,…

WATER RATES

Taxpayers group says we’re being soaked BRETT BUNDALE CITY HALL REPORTER  bbundale@herald.ca @CH_bbundale Halifax water rates will soar by 12.9 per cent today, an increase the Canadian Taxpayers Federa­tion is blaming on growing exec­utive pay, gold-plated pensions and a ballooning administration. The increase will see the aver­age homeowner pay an extra $97 a year, bringing the annual charge to roughly $780 for water, waste­water and stormwater services. The Halifax Regional Water Commission’s rate hike today comes on top of an 8.7 per cent increase last July and a 27 per cent increase in 2011.

Price cuts speed sales of Q Loft units

Developer bucks trend, drops prices at six-storey nor th-end Halifax site BILL POWER BUSINESS REPORTER  bpower@herald.ca @CH_HeraldPower With so many people clamouring to take up occupancy in Halifax’s north end, local wisdom has it that good buys on real estate in the area are difficult to find. Perhaps that is why developer Peter Polley has generated such a bu zz in the industry, and among potential buyers, after dropping prices for most of the 7 2 units in the six-storey Q Loft condomini­um complex that his Polycorp Group of Companies is building at 5662 Roberts St. “Construction costs are coming in better than expected and…