HALIFAX – Some residents are praising the Utility and Review Board’s decision to have Halifax Water prove which homes the ‘ditch tax’ applies to. Prior to this decision homeowners had to prove the tax didn’t apply them.
“We are regulated by the Nova Scotia Utility and Review Board,” said Halifax Water Spokesman James Campbell. “We were acting on the regulations they put in place on July 1, 2013 – they’ve changed those regulations now, so we’ll review them and go from there.”
He says stormwater costs the utility 10 million dollars a year and residents might not know all that goes into servicing it.
“It includes things like the stormwater pipes, manholes, catch basins, culverts, ditches, retention ponds, drainage soils and you’ve got 480 kilometres of ditches,” said Campbell. “We replaced 185 culverts last year and that costs roughly 3000 dollars each,” he added.
Resident Pamela Lovelace was behind the online peition opposing the ditch tax. The petition has reached over 1500 signatures.
“Now that we have a victory for the homeowner we need to move to get a victory for the taxpayer,” said Lovelace. “We need to think of the next steps here.”
Halifax Water is exploring its options and has until June 25th to file an appeal with the UARB.