According to the CRFA, it’s marred by unreasonable tax hikes and hidden cost increases that will stunt economic growth and hurt restaurants, pubs and foodservice businesses. The Nova Scotia foodservice industry employs more than 30,000 people, with the majority working in the Halifax region.
Under the proposal, businesses would be faced with a base rate increase of nearly 14 cents per $100 of assessment, compared to 4 cents per $100 of assessment for residents. Restaurants in Halifax Regional Municipality (HRM) already pay four times the tax rate as residential rate payers and receive a lower level of service on things such as garbage pick-up.
In addition, the proposed budget also includes hidden new costs for operators such as higher garbage tip fees and higher fees for criminal background checks required by liquor licensed establishments.
“Putting a heavier tax burden on the business community will not create the vibrant city and economic growth sought by council,” said Erjavec. “Our restaurants, pubs and coffee shops bring a lot to the table in terms of jobs, investment, innovation and tourism. Instead of stifling these businesses with tax and fee hikes, we believe HRM should work with the industry to foster growth and create a more vibrant community.”