UNSM Board of Director Outcomes from November 3 meeting
- UNSM will reach out to First Nations community to discuss the relationship between municipalities and First Nations
- The Board agreed to retain the current dues formula for the allocation of UNSM annual fees for the 2016 budget year based on the following: All units with the exception of those units paying the capped membership fee pay a base fee of $1000; A combination of the unit's population and assessment be used to calculate the remaining dues based on 85 per cent population and 15 per cent assessment; A capped fee is annually established by the Board. This was subsequently passed at the Annual General Meeting
- Councillor Ivan Doncaster from CBRM was selected to be the UNSM representative on the Province's Asset Management Working Group. In further discussions with the province, Councillor Greg Hemming was added to represent the rural voice.
- The Board selected the following UNSM members to the PVSC Board of Directors: Councillor Madeleine Daues, Town of Yarmouth (Town Position) and Councillor Alex Morrison, County of Annapolis, (Rural Position).
- The UNSM host a forestry workshop in 2016.
- UNSM will undertake the following strategy to tackle the CAP: Encourage individual municipalities to inform their residents of the implications of the property tax. As budgets are prepared, each municipality should indicate if the tax rate would be lower without the CAP, and demonstrate the differences in taxes being paid on similar properties if one has been recently purchased. UNSM should work with the Real Estate industry to encourage them to include not only the property taxes paid in the previous year, but to include the projected taxes if the property was sold. UNSM should write an editorial to the newspapers on the implications of the CAP. Municipalities should be encouraged to introduce or increase their property tax rebate program or deferral program for low-income property owners. As well, during budget debates, councils should indicate the reasons for any tax increases over and above what would occur if the average taxes were frozen from last year's level. This increased transparency would build more confidence in local government, and help dispel the concept that increased assessments alone drive increased taxes.
- The Board will undertake a one-day meeting to further discuss the municipal position on the Partnership Agreement.