Impact of the end of Business Occupancy Tax

A new problem for our Town Council to deal with is the elimination
of the Business Occupancy Tax. Don’t fear the Town will find some other
way to extract the tax dollars they “need”.

An official with the Cape Breton Regional Municipality says local governments will have to find a way to replace millions in lost tax revenues once the business occupancy tax disappears. The provincial government announced Friday it will introduce legislation in the next few weeks to do away with the tax, which is assessed on the number of days a business operates. Seasonal businesses do not pay as much as year-round operations. The business occupancy tax is in addition to the usual commercial property tax rate. But the provincial government said administering the occupancy tax is costly and time-consuming. John Whalley, the CBRM’s economic development manager, said the tax has provided at least $5 million each year for his community. He said that money will have to found elsewhere. “There’s an option to increase residential rates. But I think the assumption that’s made generally is that there would be an increase in the
commercial tax rates, given that this was a tax being paid by commercial property owners in municipalities across Nova Scotia.”
Whalley said municipal governments can’t do without the money. “They’re going
to have to make up that revenue in some other way.”

For a study on the impact of the elimination of the BOT see here

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