Residents in a north Moncton neighbourhood say they’re not about to give up their fight for a two-tier tax system.
People living on Timberline Road have previously asked city councillors for a 25 per cent break in their tax rate because they say they don’t receive the same level of services as people living elsewhere within city limits.
The homes are on the outskirts of the city with a Local Service District (LSD) neighbourhood only seconds away.
Mary Weston, a resident of Timberline Road, says the level of services between the two streets is the same, but there’s an approximate $.74 difference in their tax rates.
“We don’t have sidewalks, curbs, gutters,” she says. “We don’t have parks, water and sewer.”
City of Moncton residents pay approximately $1.65 per $100 of assessment, while LSD residents pay about $.91.
Weston says if a 25 per cent reduction was approved, they’d still be paying more than what residents of the LSD pay.
Weston says they’re going to push to possibly be removed from city boundaries to join the local LSD if their push for a tax rate reduction doesn’t get approved.
In a council presentation Monday, Chief Financial Officer Jacques Doucet noted that a single-rate tax system prevents urban sprawl.
His presentation indicates water and sewer rates are a separate charge from property tax.
It was also pointed out that all residents can access city parks and trails and other amenities, even though they might not be in the neighbourhood.
One other counter-argument to a two-tier system would be that the revenue reduction from a tax break would need to be absorbed by other residents.
Ward 3 Councillor Bryan Butler says losing the $62,500 if the reduction was granted would be less of concern compared to losing $250,000, which would be lost if the residents were no longer part of the city.
“It has to be fair,” says Weston.
Multiple councillors agree the topic requires a bigger conversation about tax reform across the province, such as increasing the rate in Local Service District’s.
Doucet says other areas on the outskirts, or underserviced neighbourhoods, would also be pushing for a tax reduction if Timberline Road residents are successful in their fight.
Weston says they will continue to meet with city and provincial officials until there’s a resolution.