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Halifax city councillors wrestle with proposed 9.7 per cent tax hike

By Steve MacArthur Nov 28, 2023 | 2:33 PM

There is already some push back from Halifax city councillors to ask residents and business owners to make up a $68 million shortfall by raising taxes.

Staff are proposing a 9.7 per cent tax hike next year to help close the gap, which would add more than $200 to most tax bills.

Councillors had a chance to ask finance officials questions and give their initial feedback on the proposal.

Councillor Tony Mancini says he won’t support it.

“I am concerned about what it’s going to do to rents, especially some of the new buildings when they are ready to open their doors…I am concerned about small landlords….they may own a couple of properties and I am concerned about those new homeowners.”

Originally, the proposed tax increase in Halifax was listed at 15 per cent, but was eventually presented at 9.7 per cent.

”We are going to have to take a look at what projects we have going on, and making decisions about whether to proceed with them right now.” add Mancini.

Meantime, Councillor Sam Austin says no one wants this kind of increase but wonders what is the alternative.

”Last year when we tried to shave down the rate, we would have had to cut career firefighters, increase bus fair, cut weekly compost collection in the summer….the list goes on and on.”

Council will spend the next several months going through the budget and looking at various scenarios before voting on the final number.