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Creating A Modern Property Tax System for Halifax Open Houses (April-June 2008) Version 2 Hit enter for next slide.

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Presentation on theme: "Creating A Modern Property Tax System for Halifax Open Houses (April-June 2008) Version 2 Hit enter for next slide."— Presentation transcript:

1 Creating A Modern Property Tax System for Halifax Open Houses (April-June 2008) Version 2 Hit enter for next slide

2 2 The Current Property Tax System Must Change Originally designed as a wealth tax –Property Values no strong link to income or services –Property Tax has become less and less Equitable –Property Tax system needs to promote Economic Competitiveness Hit enter for next slide

3 3 A Work in Progress Tax Reform Committee –Has reviewed options for a new municipal tax system: January 2007 to March 2008 –No “off the shelf” solution available –Committee has proposed a “made in HRM” solution –Mission and Principles have been developed with public input from May 2007 Consultations –Now a Mission, Principles, and a proposed Draft Tax Model are put forth for discussion/debate

4 4 Foundations and Principles Tax Reform Mission Statement To provide an equitable tax system based on a charge for services provided and ability to pay by: Linking taxes and fees for services to those who derive the greatest benefit at the individual, community and regional levels, and, Considering ability to pay. First Mission Statement of its kind anywhere! Provides the logic for a new tax system.

5 5 Principles Equity Economic Competitiveness Economic Efficiency Respect for Other Governments Stability Simplicity Transparency and Accountability Supported by 29 Objectives

6 6 What does the Proposed Tax Model provide? Features of the proposed Tax System: –People would pay for the services provided So, people in the same neighbourhood would pay the same taxes Taxes charged for 9 services (including a group of regional services) –No urban, suburban or rural tax boundaries Each service would have its own boundary –Taxes are more stable and transparent Would not vary with market values Taxes would increase due to inflation (cost increases) or service improvements

7 7 Nine Municipal Services, Nine Municipal Tax Rates Individual Charges:Common Tax Rates:9Regional Tax Rate: 1Hydrants4Local RecreationPolice 2Solid Waste5Local SidewalksFire 3Local Roads6Local TransitLibraries Multi-District Facilities Zone Tax Rates:Sports and Event Facilities 7Regional Roads (4 Zones)Recreation Programs 8Regional Transit (4 Zones)Support Services Other RegionIndividualsCommunities

8 8 Example of Nine Municipal Tax Rates Individual Community Regional

9 9 Shift Away from Property Tax Recommendation: Dwelling Unit Tax Considerations: –Easier to understand and administer –Multi-unit buildings (e.g. Apartments, Condos) are taxed at a lower tax rate (per dwelling) –Flat tax on residential vacant land. –Requires stronger tax relief for low income.

10 10 Hydrants – Individual Charge Dwelling Unit Tax for properties within 1,200 feet of a working hydrant –$116 / property –Multi-unit buildings pay once. Hit enter for next slide

11 11 Solid Waste – Individual Charge Dwelling Unit Tax for those receiving pick-up –Applies to those with pick-up (Houses, Condos and some Rural Business) –$256 / home –Does not apply to those without pick-up (Apartments, vacant land, most businesses)

12 12 Costing of Individual Charges Total Costs / Total Users Eg Solid Waste (Collection and Facility) -$32.6m / 127,000 users =$256 per user Some homes have higher service levels and/or Cost more to service. Some get weekly green bin pick-up (8 weeks in summer) Some get Recycling Pick-up (Blue Bag) every two weeks Should different rates be charged (more than one average rate)?

13 13 Local Roads – Individual Charge Dwelling Unit Tax for local road network. Considerations: –Levied on properties bordering on a road. –$176 / property –Paid once by multi-unit buildings. –75% rate for those on private roads, provincial roads. $132 / property

14 14 Local Recreation Facilities - Common Tax Rate One Area Rate set for all local recreation centres (Operating and Capital). Flat rate of $36 / home. –Within 5-10 minute “Driving Distance” (8km) – Based on Community Facility Master Plan. –Only for local facilities. Multi-District (eg pools, rinks) in Regional Tax Rate!

15 15 Local Sidewalks – Common Tax Rate Local Sidewalks. Tax on those within “walking distance” (1km) of sidewalks: Houses = $48 per house Apartments = $29 per Apartment (i.e. 60%) Commercial = 4.1 cents on assessment Sidewalks on arterial roads included in Regional Transportation Rate

16 16 Local Transit – Common Tax Rate Dwelling Unit Tax on any home within walking distance (1 km) of a local transit stop or park and ride. –All communities will have the same tax rate. –$140 per house and $84 per apartment (i.e. 60%) –Excludes MetroLink, Express Rural Transit, Ferries (in Regional Transit Zone).

17 17 Map of Tax Zones for Regional Transportation Charges

18 18 Regional Transportation Tax Rates Regional Road – Dwelling Unit Tax –Pays for arterial and collector roads and sidewalks, lights, etc. on those roads Regional Transit – Dwelling Unit Tax –Pays for Metro Link, Ferries, Bus Rapid Transit Four Zones: Pink, Orange, Green, Blue –Tax rates based on Commuter trips for zone. –Lower rate for multi-unit buildings. $148 per Commuter

19 19 Regional Tax Rate Dwelling Unit Tax for services of a broad, regional benefit –Includes Police, Fire, Libraries, larger recreation facilities and programming, support services. Could use Income Tax or Surtax (if provided authority) Hit enter for next slide

20 20 Provincial Property Taxes Provincial and Other Property Taxes –Education, Corrections, Housing, Assessment –Area Rated based on Provincial formulas One-third of residential property tax Recommend that Provincial Property Tax –Treated as responsibility of Province –Remain on Assessment as per formulas –No subsidy from municipal taxes including from low income rebate

21 21 Ability to Pay Tax at any income level made consistent Increased Low Income Rebate –$1,000 – Reduced by 7% over $18,000 –Additional $100 per child –Phases out at $33,700 (Family with one child) –Seeking administration by CRA Province has agreed to discuss No tool to tax income at progressive rates –Support use of income tax or surtax

22 22 Deed Transfer Tax No Connection to either services or income. Concern over economic impact –Increases house prices –Cannot be mortgaged Recommend it be phased-out –Increase Regional Tax Rate for residential portion

23 23 Commercial Taxation Remain on market value assessment –subject to feedback, research Commercial taxpayers pay on service basis –But, no shift in share of tax revenues –No change to historic multiplier of 2.55 Except change in Business Occupancy, Provincial Area Rate Accelerate phase-out of Business Occupancy

24 24 Where We’ve Come From Status Quo Logic behind System: –Property Tax is based on Wealth. (Assumes value of property is a proxy for wealth). Features –Urban, Suburban, Rural boundaries for some services. –Low income rebates/ deferrals –Deed Transfer Tax Reform Logic behind System –Mission Statement – Service based system with recognition of ability to pay. –Supported by 7 principles and 29 objectives. Features –Taxes based on level of benefit to individual, community or region. –Ability to Pay mechanism –Recognizes competitiveness

25 25 Public Feedback Sought Public consultations on –Foundations, Principles and Objectives –The Draft Tax Model Feedback sought: –Accept Tax Reform Suggestions –Modify the Suggestions –Move in Another Direction –Prefer the Status Quo Suggest other options

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