N.B. municipalities hope for follow-through on tax reform promises

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N.B. municipalities hope for follow-through on tax reform promises
WATCH: As politicians head into the last weekend of campaigning, there are still widespread calls from New Brunswick’s cities and towns for property tax reform. Saint John council recently had to plug a 10-million dollar hole they say wouldn't exist if the tax system was updated. Travis Fortnum reports – Sep 11, 2020

One of the key issues discussed throughout the New Brunswick election campaign has been a call for municipal tax reform.

Cities like Saint John have practically been begging for it, with all parties touching on the issue a number of times.

READ MORE: N.B. mayors push municipal tax reform as key provincial election issue

So, the Union of the Municipalities of New Brunswick wonders why it isn’t mentioned once in the PC party platform.

“If you do a search the word communities doesn’t appear,” says Executive Director Margot Cragg, “the word cities doesn’t appear the word local governments doesn’t appear. Bupkis. Nothing.”

“Hopefully what it means is that they thought municipal reform was so obviously a priority that it literally went without saying,” she says.

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PC Leader Blaine Higgs has, at several points throughout the campaign, restated his party’s commitment to bring about municipal reform within the next two years – with other leaders vowing to fix the tax system as well.

Cragg says it’s overdue.

“We’re working with a property tax system that was built in the 1960s,” she says. “I don’t know about you but I think a lot of things have changed since then.”

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