On September 5, 2017, Regional Council approved a new billing approach for the municipality’s Stormwater Right-of-Way Charge. Moving forward, all properties (both residential and commercial) that currently pay for stormwater services on their Halifax Water bill will be charged a flat rate of $39 per year on their water bill. The municipality’s Stormwater Right-of-Way Charge will no longer be included in the municipal property tax bills.
Timing for the introduction of the new billing approach has yet to be confirmed but it is anticipated to start in the fall of 2017. More details will be made available in the coming weeks.
Why do I get a bill for the Stormwater Right-of-Way Charge?
In the 2013 Rate Hearing Decision, the Nova Scotia Utility and Review Board directed that the portion of stormwater costs related to the street right-of-way should be billed to the Halifax Regional Municipality. As directed by Halifax Regional Council, a Stormwater Right-of-Way Charge of $39 will be billed through the Halifax Water billing process for 2017/18 commencing in fall of 2017 (the charge will be seen on the bill as “HRM Right of Way”). The municipality’s Stormwater Right-of-Way Charge applies to any properties receiving the Halifax Water stormwater charge.
If you are not being billed the Halifax Water stormwater charge, you will not be billed for the municipality’s Stormwater Right-of-Way Charge.
Why didn’t the municipality put the charge in the property taxes?
This was one of the options considered by Regional Council. Initially it was preferred to have this charge collected by Halifax Water. In 2016/17 the municipality collected the municipality’s Stormwater Right-of-Way Charge directly through the property tax bill. Collecting the charge on the property tax bill created difficulty for some types of properties such as condos, land leased communities, and water lots. As a result, for 2017/18 Regional Council has opted to have Halifax Water collect the charge and will be discussing, within the year, the structure of the charge and who collects it for future years.
For more information about stormwater services visit Halifax Water.