Halifax wildfire-damaged businesses are seeking property-tax relief, but the regional municipality says it can’t act without the Nova Scotia government’s consent.
The May 28 wildfire destroyed more than 200 structures, including 151 homes, CBC reported. The Halifax Charter prevents the regional municipality from granting a tax concession or other form of financial assistance to a business or industry.
But a Municipal Affairs ministry spokesperson told CBC that the department believes the municipality can provide a tax waiver without the provincial government’s involvement. (In Canada, provinces and territories generally govern the real estate sector, while municipalities administer and collect taxes and use the money to fund public services.)
Halifax Regional Municipality spokeswoman Laura Wright told CBC that the municipality has asked the province for a clarification of its statement. Commercial property taxes are due in October.
The province has offered $2,500 grants to small businesses affected by wildfires in Halifax and Shelburne County.
Monte Stewart serves as Content Director - Canada for Connect Commercial Real Estate.
Based in Vancouver, British Columbia, Monte provides daily news coverage of major Canadian commercial real estate markets, including Vancouver, Toronto, Montreal and Calgary. He has written about the real estate sector for various media outlets and Avison Young since the early 2000s.
In addition, he has covered sports, general news and business for several leading wire services and publications, including The Canadian Press, The Associated Press, The Calgary Herald, The Globe and Mail, Research Money, The Daily Oil Bulletin, Natural Gas World and The Toronto Star.
Monte is active in his community as a youth basketball coach and raises funds for such charitable causes as Movember.