Perfect storm of problems worry N.B. business leaders
Published Tuesday, June 13, 2017 8:09PM ADT
Last Updated Tuesday, June 13, 2017 9:27PM ADT
Business representatives in Fredericton say a looming price on carbon, tax increases and a fracking moratorium are raising concerns about the province’s future viability.
“You know, those are things that make our region not look as business friendly as we would like to look,” says Krista Ross, Fredericton’s Chamber of Commerce CEO.
Ross says she also fears the property tax issue has made it look even worse.
“We know that New Brunswick is considered to be a cost-effective place to do business,” says Ross. “At the same time,we can't have situations that cause people to give a second thought to that and think, well, except for this property tax issue, or except for this other issue that's happening.”
Last week, the province revealed the judge hired to look into what caused thousands of errors in property tax bills resigned, leaving the Auditor General to do the review.
New Brunswick’s Real Estate Association says it doesn't matter who does the review, they care about what happens after.
“Who does the review is not the important factor; the important factor is what are we going to do about the future of our taxation system?” asks Kari McBride of New Brunswick’s Real Estate Association.
The association and the Chamber of Commerce have asked the government to create a task force to look at how the property tax system is hurting both business and home-owners. One of the issues they’d like looked at is land transfer tax and the so-called “double tax” for some property owners.
“Having key stakeholders involved who really understand the importance of creating a fair taxation system, and understand the importance of ensuring that New Brunswick is a place where investors want to come and investors want to stay,” says McBride.
Fredericton's Chamber of Commerce says it's been about 30 years since the property tax laws have been updated.
CTV News reached out to government about these concerns, and in a statement, Finance Minister Cathy Rogers said her department does review the fairness of the tax system regularly and pointed to the need for balance between growing the economy and New Brunswick’s debt.
With files from CTV Atlantic’s Laura Brown