Halifax shifting business tax burden to enterprise parks

Halifax shifting business tax burden to enterprise parks

Halifax’s new business tax system will shift the burden to enterprise parks so big-box shops pay extra, nevertheless it’s attainable small companies will get caught up within the change.

Throughout a finances committee assembly Wednesday, metropolis workers gave council an replace on what the brand new zone-based tax system with tiered charges may imply for this fiscal 12 months, for the reason that new guidelines come into place April 1.

Municipal business taxes in three of the parks — Dartmouth Crossing, Bayers Lake and Bedford Commons — would be the highest and would go up by $5 million general, whereas the opposite zones would see reductions. 

“We’re shifting it to those that can afford it, and people who can unfold it round,” stated Coun. Shawn Cleary.

Councillors famous that altering property tax charges is the one instrument they need to make nationwide chain shops pay extra, and till now the prevailing tax system has weighed closely of their favour.

Coun. Sam Austin stated the present tax system contributed to a long time of companies shifting from the city core to town’s edges the place land worth was decrease.

“This can be a small measure to attempt to right-size slightly little bit of that,” Austin stated.

Coun. Sam Austin represents Dartmouth Centre. (Preston Mulligan/CBC)

However metropolis workers famous that the modifications may see elevated taxes imposed on small companies who’re additionally tenants within the parks.

Beverly Hynes, who owns Seamus David’s Pub in Dartmouth Crossing, stated the modifications come as inflation has her grocery and energy payments going “by means of the roof.”

“We have been by means of sufficient,” stated Hynes, who has been within the park for 11 years. “We’re up amongst a bunch of huge companies, and [we’re] only a small little fish attempting to make our manner.” 

It is unclear what the ultimate influence on small companies within the parks will probably be, however workers famous that the very best tax bounce for a person property is $283,000 in Dartmouth Crossing, which has smaller outlets in it like 2 Doorways Down and Coconut Creek Present Store.

Halifax’s new business tax system is an try to maneuver the burden to huge chains like Costco, which has areas in Dartmouth Crossing and Bayers Lake. (Brian Morris/CBC)

Nonetheless, Cleary stated provided that the property is 11 hectares, has eight buildings general, together with a mid-rise, and dozens of companies, the prices for tenants hopefully will not be an excessive amount of.

The downtown neighborhood zone would save probably the most, and see taxes lower general by $4.2 million. The workers report stated probably the most tax anybody property saves in any zone is $4,500.

Paul MacKinnon of the Downtown Halifax Enterprise Fee stated it is the equitable factor to do.

He stated since chains like Walmart or Costco have nationwide pricing methods, the enterprise parks they’re in can normally climate powerful financial occasions. MacKinnon additionally stated cities like Toronto have taken this step.

Paul MacKinnon is the manager director of the Downtown Halifax Enterprise Fee. (Steve Berry/CBC)

“We all know that companies in downtowns and predominant streets had been extra impacted by COVID-19 … so we expect the time is correct for this sort of shift,” MacKinnon stated.

When requested about small companies within the parks being affected, MacKinnon urged having the province grant Halifax new powers to permit for sure exemptions.

Halifax has already requested the Nova Scotia authorities to move a bylaw that may permit them to section within the tax modifications over three years, and keep away from a painful spike this 12 months.

Whereas the province hasn’t granted that but, Mayor Mike Savage stated Wednesday he is spoken with Municipal Affairs Minister John Lohr, who has agreed to speak with Halifax metropolis workers “to see if we will work this out.”


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