Halifax's "tax reform" favours wealthy with higher value homes

HRM proposal far more complicated than documents suggest.

A report released by city officials overseeing the so-called "tax reform" proposal could not have been better designed to inflame urban vs. suburban strife. The one-page document, which was handed out at a Tuesday workshop for councillors, shows the effects of "tax reform" by electoral district averages.

For example, using 2007 numbers, under "tax reform" homeowners in Halifax's south end will see an average reduction of $2,065, a 61 percent decrease, in their property tax bills, with a resulting average bill of $1,317. Homeowners in Eastern Passage, however, will see an average *increase* in their property tax bills of $347, a 35 percent increase, resulting in an average tax bill of $1,334.

The average tax bill in Eastern Passage will be $17 more than the average tax bill in the south end, even though the average tax assessment in the south end, $432,700, is more than three times higher than the average tax assessment of $129,326 in Eastern Passage.

The document is titled "Preliminary Analysis on Best Possible Tax System." You can see it here---that is the original document, as written, but I've added the "change in taxes" column.

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