To the Editor:
My letter of January 24 on municipal property taxation has apparently caused some confusion by readers because of its detail. I apologize for giving too much information where simplicity would have been more effective in understanding the gravity of the current Pictou County Council’s decision to include provincial property taxes in the annual budget.
The Municipal Government Act dictates that councils can only include municipal expenses in their budgets. By contravening the MGA and including over $5 million from the four provincial property taxes, each with its own designated tax rate, in the expenditures column of the annual budget, the Pictou County Municipal Council must then at least maintain the current residential tax rate of 81 cents per $100 of assessment and a commercial tax rate of $1.81 per $100 of assessment.
On your tax bills this is double taxation. An example of this procedure is the school tax which last year had a provincial property tax rate of 32 cents per $100 of assessment with a municipal residential tax rate of 81 cents on top of it. By removing all provincial taxes from the budget, council has the opportunity to reduce the residential tax rate to approximately 55 cents and a commercial tax rate of roughly $1.25.
If you see the logic in all of this, then I suggest you phone your local municipal councillor and voice your objection. If you require more information you can email me at: firstname.lastname@example.org or phone me at 902-301-4705.