NEWS ON SMALL BUSINESS TAX REFORM!
Executive Director Patty Cuttell presented to the Law Amendments committee on May 16th to ask the provincial government to grant HRM's request to have greater authority in setting taxes and charges respecting the general tax rate and area rates for both residential and commercial properties. The amendment brought forward in Bill 177 by the provincial government was not what HRM asked for, nor was it what the BIDs have been advocating for. Bill 177 would not enable the creation of differentiated tax rates — it would only stretch out the period in which to pay increased taxes. To read more about Bill 177, and our issues with it, check out the media coverage we received. NEBA, along with other BIDs in the HRM, will continue advocacy work to ensure issues with municipal commercial taxes remain in the spotlight. With a municipal election, and potential provincial election, on the horizon, there will be opportunity. But there is also the risk that we could lose momentum. While there has been an indication from the Liberal Government that HRM's request and the ability to set differentiated tax rates will be dealt with in the fall, we intend to keep working toward changes in the tax system that will create a more level playing field for small businesses and businesses in the urban core. Promise to keep you posted on any more exciting tax reform developments.