Halifax first 2024-25 budget meeting looks at 9.7% property tax increase

Row of colourful houses with cars parked on the street in front. Houses are blue, purple, pink and red.
Halifax council debates proposed 9.7 per cent tax hike. Photo by Haeley DiRisio.
Haeley DiRisio - CKDU - HalifaxNS | 29-11-2023
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Halifax councillors debated the proposed 9.7 per cent tax hike this week at the first budget meeting for the 2024-25 fiscal season.

The property tax increase would make up for a revenue shortfall of $68.7 million.

At Tuesday's meeting, HRM councillors debated the motion put forward by city staff to raise property taxes by 9.7 per cent, brought down from the original 15 per cent increase. The increase would mean the average homeowners would pay around $223 more on their annual bill. 

Mayor Mike Savage suggested the province should step in and help the municipality in order to lessen the amount coming from homeowners.

“[The province] got more in growth then we’ve spent the whole year,” Savage said. 

With more people coming to the province and due to inflation the province is receiving more income tax, the mayor said.

“No one wants nearly 10 per cent, it's not palatable to anyone,” Coun. Sam Austin said, but added that the city has its hands tied with making alternative cuts. “Go back to twice a week green bin pick-up in the summer?” Austin said. “That one’s always a winner.”

Coun. Tony Mancini said he’s concerned about the property tax forcing seniors out of their homes or tenants being hit with higher rent. 

“I don’t support 9.7 and I told my residents already I don’t support that,” Mancini said. 

The next budget meeting will take place Dec. 12 with a capital update.

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