Nova Scotia

Downtown Halifax businesses want lower taxes

Property taxes will go up for everyone unless the Halifax Regional Municipality changes the commercial tax rate system to lure businesses back downtown, a business group warns.

Property taxes will go up for everyone unless the Halifax Regional Municipality changes the commercial tax system to lure businesses back downtown, a business group warns.

Paul MacKinnon, executive director of the Downtown Halifax Business Commission, said HRM should bring in different rates based on location.

"What you need to do is establish two, possibly more, different types of tax rates and, in fact, lower that rate for the downtown area," he told CBC News.

MacKinnon said Edmonton increased residential rates after many businesses left that city's downtown core.

"It's one of those things that the taxpayers at the end of the day will have to pay more unless we fix this problem," he said.

In 2011-12, the general commercial rate for urban and suburban areas of HRM was the same, but it was slightly lower for the rural area.

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