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Definitions

 

Tax Definitions

The general rate of taxation is applied to the assessed taxable or assessed capped value of the property provided by Property Valuation Services. This is located on your assessment notice issued to you yearly.

General Tax Rates

The general rate is applied to the value of real property, per $100 of assessed value.

Example: 

A rate of "5 cents" or $0.05 on a $100,000 value would result in a tax of $50.00

Tax= Rate x Value/$100
Tax= $0.05 x $100,000/$100
Tax = $50.00

Urban Rate

Services provided in the Urban Rate

Policing, Solid Waste, Recreation Programs, Planning, Libraries, Sports Fields, Playgrounds, Administration, Fire Suppression, Street lighting, Recreational and Community Facilities (HRM's share of capital and operating costs), Sidewalks (including plowing).

Suburban Rate

Services provided in the Suburban Rate

Policing, Solid Waste, Recreation Programs, Planning, Libraries, Sports Fields, Playgrounds, Administration, Fire Suppression, Street lighting, Recreational and Community Facilities (HRM's share of capital and operating costs).

Rural Rate

Services provided in the Rural Rate

Policing, Solid Waste, Recreation Programs, Planning, Libraries, Sports Fields, Playgrounds, Administration, Fire Suppression, Street lighting, Recreational and Community Facilities (HRM's share of capital costs).

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Other Rates

These rates are in addition to the general rates and tend to reflect services which provide a benefit to residents within a specific geographic area.  Some of these rates cover a large area, such as regional transportation or fire protection (hydrants), while other local area rates or local improvement charges pertain to a smaller geographic area.  Some of these rates may be charged out on a "per property" or "per foot of frontage" basis, rather than assessed value.

Generally, residents within an area for which a new rate is proposed are engaged in a consultation process to determine whether sufficient support exists for the area rate.

See a list of all the HRM residential or commercial rates.


Fire Protection (Fire Hydrants)

The Nova Scotia Utilities and Review Board (NSUARB) requires HRM to make a contribution to fund the operations of the Halifax Regional Water Commission (HRWC). This contribution is used to fund the hydrant costs incurred by the Commission and is set by a formula approved by the NSUARB. The hydrant charges are recovered via a special “Fire Protection” area rate that HRM levies on all properties within 1,200 feet of a hydrant available for public fire protection.

Regional Transportation and Local Transit Area Rate

In 2009, HRM changed the way it collected transit taxes. Costs for transit services were removed from the residential general rates and were collected through specific transit rates. As a result, the 2009-10 residential urban general rate dropped by 13.1 cents, while the suburban and rural general rates were reduced by 4.5 cents from the prior year.

Transit taxes are arranged into two area rates. A "Regional Transportation" rate covers services such as the MetroLink, the new MetroX and ferries. The cost for these regional services is shared by almost all taxpayers. Secondly, a "Local Transit" rate is paid by those who live within a one-km walk of a (conventional or community) transit stop or flag stop. For 2010-11, the two rates were increased to provide additional funding for new routes, improved schedules and more Metro Transit service

See the mapped areas for Regional Transportation and the Local Transit Area Rate.

Questions and Answers (August 2009) regarding the Transit Tax.


Supplementary Education

HRM provides supplementary funding to the Halifax Regional School Board (HRSB) and the Conseil Scolaire Acadien Provincial (CSAP), the province-wide Acadian school board.  Under a four year agreement with the school boards, there is now one uniform Supplementary Education rate across HRM.

BID - Business Improvement District

From the Halifax Charter

70 (1) The Municipality may


(a) beautify, improve and maintain property owned or leased by the Municipality;

(b) pay grants to a body corporate for the purpose of promoting or beautifying a business district and for airport, wharf or waterfront development;

(c) identify and promote a business district as a place for retail and commercial activity;

(d) establish or maintain parking facilities.

(2) The Municipality may levy an area rate applicable only to the commercial property and business occupancy assessments in the area benefited by the expenditures in order to recover them.

(3) In setting such an area rate, the Council may set


(a) different rates for business occupancy assessments and commercial property assessments; and

(b) a minimum and maximum amount to be paid by a person assessed,or may provide that payments be made on another basis established by the Council.

Beaver Bank Water and Sewer

This area rate provides a portion of the funding for construction of the Beaver Bank Water and Sewer Project. Other funding sources include the Canada- Nova Scotia Infrastructure Program, and Local Improvement Charges based on lot frontage. Local Improvement Charges are billed to property owners separately from their property tax bills.

 

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Provincial Funding

Education

HRM is required to provide funding to the Halifax Regional School Board (HRSB) under the Education Act. This mandatory education contribution is set by the Province of Nova Scotia and is based on HRM's share of the “Uniform Assessment”.

Property Valuation Services (Assessment)

HRM is required to provide funding to pay a share of the cost of operating the provincial assessment system. HRM pays a portion of the total Property Valuation Services Corporation costs, based on HRM share of the Uniform Assessment and HRM’s share of assessment accounts across the province..

Correction Services

HRM is required (as are all municipalities) to make a mandatory contribution to the province to fund the cost of correctional services.  The contribution is set by Province of Nova Scotia and is based on HRM's share of the Uniform Assessment and HRM's share of dwelling units across the province.

Metro Housing Authority

The Metropolitan Housing Authority administers and manages public non-profit housing for seniors and families on low incomes within HRM.  It is one of seven regional housing authorities in the Province.

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Other definitions

Interim Bill

Your Interim Tax bill is 50% of the current year estimated taxes. The estimated taxes are calculated using your current assessment and last years area rates.

 

Local Improvement Charge (LIC)

Local Improvement Charges are levied by Council for municipal infrastructure such as streets, curbs, gutters, sidewalks, etc that benefit a specific area.

 

Property Assessment

The taxable value of your real property is determined by Property Valuation Services Corporation (PVSC).

 

Property Taxes

Tax levied based on the taxable value of real property (land and/or buildings) as assessed by the Property Valuation Servics Corporation. Property tax payments are due twice per year. Interim Taxes are due April 30th and Final Taxes are due October 31st yearly.

Property Tax Rate

The rate of taxation on the assessed value of real property.

Capped Value

Capped Value is a value placed on your property by PVSC when your assessment increases over the cost of living index (approx 2.5%). To be eligible to receive the capped value on your current home you must own your home for more than one year. If you purchased your home in the current year the prior owners' cap is removed the following January.

 

Uniform Assessment

A measure of the property tax base of a municipality, equal to the total taxable property assessment of the municipality plus the capital value of its grants from special property tax arrangements.