Friday, Oct. 7, 2016 (Halifax, NS) – Regional Council has directed municipal staff to explore options to address storm water right-of-way charges moving forward including, but not limited to, charges being placed against condominium parking and storage spaces.
The stormwater right-of-way charge is a cost-recovery mechanism to help fund the municipality’s share of the repair and maintenance of the stormwater systems that control water runoff from municipal roads.
In 2013, the Nova Scotia Utility and Review Board required Halifax Water to charge approximately 40 per cent of its Stormwater Services costs to the municipality to cover stormwater flows from public roadways. For the past two years, this was collected through the Halifax Water bill. In June 2015, Regional Council decided to collect the charge through the property tax bill and, for 2016-17, directed that a stormwater right-of-way charge be set at $42 per property for those properties within the Halifax Water Stormwater Service Area.
The stormwater right-of-way charge on the municipal tax bill applies to all taxable accounts, regardless of property value, size, or type. As a result, those who own a condo unit, as well as a separately deeded parking space and/or storage locker, are being charged for each separate assessment account. This affects approximately eight per cent of condo owners, equating to approximately 900 accounts.
Regional Council has committed to revisiting this matter promptly and has directed staff to explore the feasibility of several options, which includes consideration of reimbursement for residents with condo parking and storage spaces. A staff recommendation report is anticipated to come before Regional Council for its deliberation in early November.
In the meantime, residents are reminded they are required to pay their entire tax bill in a timely manner. It will be important for those with concerns about multiple charges associated with the stormwater right-of-way charge to pay the charges so that proper arrangements can be made to address these payments, pending Regional Council’s direction.