Saint John in holding pattern over L.N.G. tax deal

Posted April 24th, 2019 by admin and filed in 长沙夜网
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The city of Saint John will have to wait a few more months before its controversial tax deal with Irving Oil over the Liquified Natural Gas facility can be repealed.

That deal will see Irving pay the city $500,000 per year in property tax —;  a number that’s believed to be far below its assessed value.

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READ MORE: City of Saint John wants more time to review possible repeal of LNG tax deal

The province has been asked by the city to repeal the agreement, struck in 2005, so it can access potentially millions of dollars more in yearly tax revenues.

It was hoped that would happen during the spring sitting of the legislature, however that didn’t happen.

The city received a letter late Thursday regarding the situation.

“There are some implications for other communities in which we want to ensure that we take some time to consult,” Premier Brian Gallant wrote in the letter. “So we’ve said to the City of Saint John ‘we can continue with the proposal that they’ve given but we we do have to consult.’”

That proposal involves extra property tax revenue received by the city for the L.N.G. property going into a trust fund until any appeal process has concluded. It could then be distributed among the municipalities through the unconditional grant formula which provides core funding to communities.

READ MORE: ‘Nasty in there’: all sides at odds as N.B. legislature adjourns for summer

Saint John Mayor Don Darling hasn’t commented on the specifics of the letter. In a statement Mayor Darling says he is “pleased with the language in the letter, and the province’s commitment to have a plan in place for the 2017 tax season”.

Councillor Gerry Lowe says the issue is important to all councillors.

“Because it’s a tax thing and that’s one of our main problems here in the city,” Lowe said.

“We’re not getting enough taxes in to look after the the residents of the city.”

Fredericton Councillor Eric Megarity heads the Cities of New Brunswick Association and says he hasn’t consulted his municipal colleagues yet but likes the potential for millions of extra dollars becoming available.

“If that money comes back, that’s $3.5-4 million that will be distributed among the municipalities that that need that equalization so that’s a win situation,” he said.

Saint John Common Council is expected to discuss the letter Monday night.

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