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Cape Breton municipality pitches changes to provincial bill it says will raise taxes

HALIFAX — Nova Scotia’s second largest municipality wants changes to proposed provincial legislation it contends will raise taxes for its residents.

Mayor Amanda McDougall-Merrill, of the Cape Breton Regional Municipality (CBRM), called for negotiations on a separate agreement on provincial funding for her municipality today in an appearance before a legislature committee.

McDougall-Merrill made the suggestion as a change to be included in the Municipal Reform Act, which governs how municipalities are funded.

She says the province did ask her municipality if it wanted a separate deal before it came forward with the legislation, but council turned down the offer because there was little detail and no consultation.

McDougall-Merrill says the legislation as it currently stands would see CBRM remit $16.5 million to the province while receiving back only $15 million to help pay for services.

The mayor says that deficit in funding means the municipality would have to raise taxes for its roughly 100,000 residents.

Other CBRM officials who appeared before the committee also called for a doubling of the $30 million in provincial funding that is used to help municipalities fund services such as transit and water.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Oct. 30, 2023.

The Canadian Press

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