Halifax councillor suggests proposed tax increases be entirely paid for by residents

Coun. Shawn Cleary says measure would help small businesses struggling during the COVID-19 pandemic

Halifax regional council began discussions Wednesday on its proposed billion-dollar budget for 2021-22.
Finance officials are recommending spending $827.2 million on operations and up to $230 million on capital projects.

The budget calls for a 1.9 per cent increase to the average tax bills of both residential and commercial taxpayers. For the average single family home — worth $250,000 — that would add an extra $38 to the tax bill. For the average commercial property, it would mean an extra $817.

Coun. Shawn Cleary said he wants to help small business owners struggling with the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic. He suggested not increasing taxes on the commercial side, and instead shifting it to residents.

“We’re not allowed to give money to private businesses under our charter, but this might be one way to take less from them,” said Cleary… [Read More]