(Fredericton, NB) – The Fredericton Chamber of Commerce is disappointed with the New Brunswick government’s decision to revert back to 2012 commercial property tax rates. The original reduction in the provincial portion of commercial property taxes has been mischaracterized as a handout to big business, most recently in the 2014 Speech from the Throne: “Other measures will be undertaken this year to increase government revenues. These include...rescinding a tax break previously granted to large corporations.”
According to a September 12, 2014 release by the New Brunswick Real Estate Association, “Government statistics show the cut in the commercial property tax benefited about 16,000 small and mediumsized business in the province.”
“We hope that the government is looking at the fiscal burden on the business community holistically,” said Joseph O’Donnell, chamber president. “They have made it very clear that improving the economy and creating jobs are their top priorities, so each decision should be part a larger plan aimed at achieving those goals. Ideally we’ll get a sense of the big picture in specific detail at the State of the Province Address next month.”
To compensate for the loss in provincial revenue from the 2012 reduction, the previous government increased the land transfer tax from 0.25% to 0.50%.
“We note that a return to the previous land transfer tax rates was not part of the announcement this week,” added Krista Ross, chamber CEO. “We recognize that the province is in a difficult fiscal situation, but at the end of the day its economic growth and creating conditions for our small businesses to succeed that is the sustainable means to prosperity. Ultimately it will be the tenant businesses of commercial properties that will bear this cost.”
O’Donnell added: “A few of the decisions made so far by the Liberal government appear aimed at reversing the policies of the former government. We hope that there is some recognition that not all of the policies enacted under the PCs were negative. As stated in the throne speech ‘Plans should be designed for the next generation, not the next election’.”
The Fredericton chamber is also preparing a prebudget brief to submit to Finance Minister Melanson this month that addresses this and other issues of importance to chamber members.
Contact: Krista Ross, Chamber CEO (506) 458-8006
With more than 900 members, the Fredericton Chamber of Commerce is New Brunswick’s largest chamber of commerce. A dynamic business organization, the Fredericton Chamber of Commerce is actively engaged in policy development that affects the competitiveness of our members and of the Canadian business environment.
P.O. Box 275, 364 York Street, Suite 200, Fredericton, New Brunswick, Canada, E3B 4Y9
Tel: 506 4588006 Fax: 506 4511119