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HRM proposes tax increases

If Halifax regional council approves the budget it tabled last night, it’s going to get a little more expensive to live in HRM.

If Halifax regional council approves the budget it tabled last night, it’s going to get a little more expensive to live in HRM.

Staff had to squeeze $35.5 million out of the budget this year and it’s proposing the following to make that happen:

• A 1.7 per cent general tax rate increase.

• Increases in the rural and urban transit tax rates.

• No more weekly green cart pickup during summer months.

• Closing some visitor information centres.

• Changes to recreational programs.

• No trap-neuter-release program or zebra crosswalk stripes.

• Suspended streetscaping projects.

• Higher user fees for items such as ice rentals.

• No new trails that don’t have funding already.

• No new public art projects such as murals.

• Suspension of the Community Facility Partnership Grant program.

The five-year transit expansion plan remains in effect, which means 10 new buses this year, extending Access A Bus and opening the Ragged Lake Operations Centre and the Dartmouth Terminal.

The debt will also continue to go down $5 million in the next year.