November 20, 2023
FREDERICTON – Today a CBC article quoted Saint John finance commissioner Kevin Fudge as saying that Saint John residents will have to shoulder 100 percent of the City’s property tax revenue increase due to provincial regulations.
Upon hearing the news, Green Finance Critic and MLA for Kent North Kevin Arseneau said that the Higgs government needs to act now to give municipalities more authority to raise industrial property tax rates, while lowering residential rates.
“Enough is enough, for years Liberal and Conservative governments have talked about fixing Saint John’s financing issues without taking any action to fix the root problems,” said Arseneau. “It is time to give the City of Saint John the power it needs to ensure all property owners are taxed fairly.”
To give municipalities more flexibility, Arseneau is calling on the Higgs government to allow non-residential property tax rates to exceed the current limit of 1.7 times the residential rate. He is also calling for the creation of more property tax classes, to ensure that all types of properties are paying their fair share.
“The necessary resources and tools must follow the additional responsibilities that are being given to municipalities,” added Arseneau. “Once again successive governments are leaving everyday New Brunswickers to foot the bill so heavy industry can continue to pay less than its fair share.It’s time to end their free ride.”