Nfld. & Labrador

Marshall blows off St. John's tax hike concerns

The finance minister is dismissing warnings that St. John's taxes will skyrocket if the province doesn't bail out the capital city.
Finance Minister Tom Marshall seaking with reporters recently. (CBC)

Newfoundland and Labrador's finance minister is dismissing warnings that St. John's taxes will skyrocket if the government doesn't bail out the capital city.

Mayor Dennis O’Keefe said earlier this week that property taxes could jump by as much as 300 per cent if the province doesn’t pony up more money for the city.

Finance Minister Tom Marshall expresses some doubt about that.

"I've taken a look at the city's revenues and I really can't see that happening," said Marshall, who met with O'Keefe on Thursday.

"I think it's a bit extreme but [O'Keefe's] got a point to make. He's trying to make an argument and he'll make his and we'll make ours and you know, we'll work together, but we have to look at the big picture. We have the whole province to look after."

The city argues the provincial government is not paying its freight for key municipal services, including water and other infrastructure.

Marshall said the government is heading into its pre-budget consultations with a projected deficit of almost $500 million for the 2012-2013 fiscal year.

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