Tax Exemptions for Volunteer Fire Departments

Service Nova Scotia and Municipal Relations (to March 31, 2014)

April 2, 2001 3:00 PM

The Nova Scotia government is taking steps today to reduce the
financial burden on volunteer fire departments by introducing
amendments to the Assessment Act and the Municipal Government
Act.

"Volunteer fire departments provide valuable services that would
otherwise be delivered by municipalities. Our government values
the contributions these men and women make to their community,"
said Angus MacIsaac, Minister of Service Nova Scotia and
Municipal Relations. "Volunteer fire departments face significant
financial challenges and paying taxes on their fire hall
shouldn''t be one of them."

Under the proposed amendment, buildings owned by volunteer fire
departments would become exempt from municipal taxes and property
value assessments, just as municipal fire departments are now.

Under legislation that took effect in 1999, municipalities were
given the option of passing a by-law to exempt volunteer fire
departments from municipal taxes. Properties owned by the
volunteer fire departments were still included in calculations
that determine how much the municipality pays for services
provided to the community by the province. Properties, including
fire halls, owned by a municipality are not included in these
calculations.

The Union of Nova Scotia Municipalities passed a resolution at
its 2000 Annual Meeting, asking the government to make this
change to the province''s legislation. The minister said this is
another example of how the province hears and takes action on
issues facing Nova Scotia''s 55 municipalities.


FOR BROADCAST USE:

     The Nova Scotia government introduced amendments to two laws

today that would take volunteer fire departments off of the tax

rolls.

     Angus MacIsaac, Minister of Service Nova Scotia and

Municipal Relations, said the government values the contributions

made by volunteer fire fighters.

     Under the proposed changes, volunteer fire departments would

be exempt from municipal taxes and property assessments.

     Under current law, municipalities can exempt volunteer fire

departments from paying taxes. But the value of their properties

is part of the calculations to determine how much money the

community pays for services delivered by the province.

     The minister said the changes were requested by the Union of

Nova Scotia Municipalities and that this shows the government

hears and addresses municipal issues.

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Contact: Kevin Finch
         Service Nova Scotia and Municipal Relations
         902-424-2733
         E-mail: finchkh@gov.ns.ca

sab         April 2, 2001      4:45 P.M.