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Media Release

Tax Rebate Program to be offered

(Wednesday, March 9, 2005)--- During Committee of the Whole on March 8th, 2005 HRM Regional Council approved a rebate program that will provide relief from property tax bills due to the wide variation in Provincial Assessments. The program includes a three step action plan which will include a one time only “Temporary Tax Credit” for properties with above average assessment values.

The average Assessment in HRM has increased by 7.6% in 2005. HRM proposes to reduce property tax bills by 50% of the increase over the average. This will be based on a two year average, and applies to all residential properties with a dwelling unit. Condominiums, apartments, and market growth will also be included in this proposal.

In addition, the Budget proposes enhancing the low income support programs that are currently available. If the required legislative changes are passed by the Province, relief could be available for the September Tax Bill.

Market Value Assessments have no consistent link to services available, ability to pay and cost of services, especially in a growing market atmosphere. All market segments are not growing equally, and the Municipal Government Act offers limited flexibility. HRM wants this to change.

Mayor Peter Kelly said “We recognize the burden which the variation in Provincial Assessments has put on citizens and we are doing our best to offer relief to help decrease that burden.”
He added, “The purpose of the rebate program is to provide short term relief for citizens. It is by no means a long term solution, but it is a step toward a long term Tax Reform strategy in HRM.”

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Contact:

Lori Patterson
Acting Corporate Communications Officer
(902)490-6531