Weekly Update - HRM Commercial Taxation

Commercial Tax Flexibility for HRM

For a long time there’s been a distinct lack of fairness in the commercial tax system in Halifax. This has had serious consequences for small, local businesses—the kind of businesses we should be working harder and harder to support. Local, small businesses invest directly in the local economy, they hire local talent, and they keep their money in our communities.

Thanks to efforts by Halifax Regional Municipality and the Province we’re taking important steps to bring fairness to the commercial tax system by giving HRM greater flexibility in determining how commercial taxes work. Legislation introduced today will allow Halifax Regional Municipality to set different commercial property tax rates in designated zones.

“One way to support the provincial economy and strong, healthy communities is to give municipalities some flexibility in managing commercial property taxes,” said Municipal Affairs Minister Zach Churchill. “These changes will help council encourage commercial development where it’s best for the community.”

The bill will amend the Halifax Regional Municipality Charter Act, giving council the authority to designate zones in which different tax rates can be set and applied to assessed property value or street frontage of properties. Within these zones, council will be able to apply different tax rates to different amounts of assessed value or lengths of street frontage. For example, the first $100,000 of assessed value may be taxed at one rate, the next $100,000 at a higher rate, and so on.

Council can choose to use any combination of these options. Commercial tax rates set using these options will be reviewed within four years of coming into force.

I am happy to have supported this legislation throughout its development and I look forward to voting in favour.