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Halifax mayor wants fair share of tax revenue as city fuels growth in N.S.

By Steve MacArthur Nov 29, 2023 | 12:48 PM

Halifax city councillors are set to dig in to avoid passing on a hefty tax rate to homeowners and businesses because of a $68 million short fall.

Council will move forward with its budget process but will remove the proposed 9.7 per cent property rate hike.

Councillor Tony Mancini says they will take a hard look at the projects they have planned and ones that underway and decide which ones are most important and which ones can be delayed to make up the shortfall.

The tax rate for next year is not yet known, but the decision to make cuts means it will be under 9.7 per cent.

Cities fueling growth in Canada

Meantime, Mayor Mike Savage wants a better deal when it comes to sharing tax revenues.

Savage says cities are driving growth in their provinces but do not reap the tax benefits. He’s calling on the feds for a better deal for municipalities, so they get more cash to deliver services.

Mayor Mike Savage meets with a firefighter at in Tantallon.

The mayor pointed to $2 billion in unexpected revenue for the province in the last fiscal update, but that’s not being funneled to the municipalities.

Halifax is expected to surpass 500,000 residents next year but Savage says that also puts more pressure to deliver municipal services.

Savage says he’d be happy to sit down with the province to discuss the issue further. He delivered this comments at the start of the city budget process on Tuesday.