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‘Harmful’ bill hurts affordable housing and escalates taxes in HRM: municipal leaders

“Hearing HRM complain about the lack of consultation is quite rich.” “HRM doesn’t engage in a meaningful consultation with the people and businesses who actually build housing.” – Developer Peter Polley

HALIFAX, N.S. — Surprise provincial legislation aimed at speeding up housing development in HRM would instead dramatically increase property taxes and could damage affordable housing programs, municipal officials argued Monday.

“This legislation is unnecessary and it’s harmful,” Mayor Mike Savage told the legislature’s law amendments committee.  “Let’s be clear.: this will raise taxes for municipal taxpayers.”

On Thursday, council barely got a heads-up that the Progressive Conservative government introduced a bill with nearly a dozen changes to the Halifax Regional Municipality Charter and the Housing in the Halifax Regional Municipality Act.

The bill will give some developers expedited services, including freezing all municipal permit and development fees.

Premier Tim Houston said last week that “this is a time for bold action; this is a time that we’re moving forward.” …[Continue Reading]