Provincial governments are exempt from land taxes. But in every other province except for PEI, the province pays municipalities a grant representing the taxes that would be owed on provincial land.
St. John’s is being treated unfairly. Our two largest employers—the Province and MUN—aren’t paying their fair share to the upkeep of the city. That’s the biggest reason why Mount Pearl can afford to offer more public services for less taxes. Mount Pearl’s biggest employers pay their fair share.
This is a problem of practical politics. City Council has to find a way to put this on the provincial agenda, to make sure politicians and voters care. No other single financial issue is of comparable importance; tens of millions in annual revenue are at stake.
I will fight to put fair treatment for St. John’s on the agenda during provincial leadership races and the provincial elections.
[See also my letter in the Independent.]