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Whether Hantsport residents are in line for a tax decrease following the dissolution vote remains to be seen.
At a May 6 council meeting, Deputy Mayor Harold Bulger tabled a motion calling for the residential and commercial tax rates to be held at $1.69 and $3.85 per $100 of taxable assessment.
The motion, supported by councillors Margot Bureaux and Faye Hill, was defeated by a tie vote of 3-3 in the absence of Coun. Shannon Cunningham, who was working in Halifax. Councillors Paul Morton and Rob Frederick joined Mayor Robbie Zwicker in opposing the motion.
Prior to the vote, Zwicker said he’s in favour of lowering taxes before the town is dissolved into a neighbouring municipality.
“I would like to see a tax reduction going into the dissolution process. I think we can do it. I think five cents would be more than reasonable and it would be my hope that through the negotiation process it could be maintained, or even lowered.”
Bureaux suggested council consider dipping into the town coffers and investing some money in a legacy project that will benefit the community in the years to come.
She proposed they use some reserve funds to renovate the legion building, which has been identified as a potential home for the public library and the local historical society’s museum.
“Through dissolution, it’s sort of a time for us to potentially leave something for citizens of the town and area,” Bureaux said.
Bulger said it makes more sense to hold the tax rates if shaving five cents off the rates, and losing $37,000 in revenue, will result in service cuts.
“I look at the five cents reduction rate — (as) a taxpayer I love it, as a councillor I think it’s stupid to reduce it,” said Bulger.
The tax rate decision will be made at the next meeting with a full council.