THE FRONT PORCH: Non-Resident Property Taxation in Nova Scotia

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Telile Community Television
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THE FRONT PORCH: Non-Resident Property Taxation in Nova Scotia

CLEVELAND - After 32 years at the helm of Canadian Pioneer Estates, a company geared towards helping Europeans find property for new homes and seasonal structures in southern Cape Breton Island, Rolf Bouman thought he had seen it all. 

But even the veteran real-estate agent wasn't prepared for the changes to Nova Scotia's non-resident property taxation system that were unveiled in the first provincial budget from Progressive Conservative Finance Minister Allan MacMaster this past spring. 

While Bouman appreciates the province's use of a five per cent deed transfer tax that has just taken effect for non-resident property owners, as well as the need to reduce Nova Scotia's provincial debt, he uses words like "discriminatory" to describe the PC government's plan to implement a sliding-scale tax on out-of-province property owners that would begin at two per cent this year and escalate to five per cent by 2025. 

"I was not impressed," Bouman told Telile host Adam Cooke from the Friends United Cultural Centre, a former fish hatchery in Cleveland that Bouman and a consortium of financial backers has transformed into a major indigenous art gallery and convention centre over the past decade. 

"The first thing that came to my mind was that this was something that was done without consultation."

While Bouman was pleased to see Premier Tim Houston announce in late May that his government was scrapping the main non-resident property tax increase, leading Bouman to send the premier a personal thank-you note, he is also grateful for the efforts of Richmond MLA Trevor Boudreau - a member of Houston's PC caucus - and Richmond Warden Amanda Mombourquette taking up the fight against these budgetary measures. 

In addition to millions of dollars in lost revenue for his business and the overall Richmond County economy, Bouman feels that the continuation of the proposed property tax increase would have led to the closure of the Friends United initiative, putting the income of as many as 30 First Nations artisans in jeopardy this summer alone. 

He also suggested that the initial provincial defence of these tax measures - that they would assist the government in addressing a province-wide housing crisis - did not hold up to deeper scrutiny and was designed to temper a growing firestorm of opinion against the province's actions and against Nova Scotia in general. 

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Video Upload Date: June 27, 2022

TV TELILE is a unique community television station in Nova Scotia. They are found on Channel 10 using an antenna, Channel 4 on the EastLink cable system in western Richmond County, and on Channel 5 on the Seaside cable system in eastern Richmond County. They are also on the Seaside cable system along Eastern Cape Breton from New Waterford and Glace Bay to Louisbourg and St Peters, and is now on the Bell Satellite system on Channel 536!

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