First Session, 47th General Assembly
61 Elizabeth II, 2012
AN ACT TO AMEND THE
CITY OF ST. JOHNS ACT AND
Received and Read the First Time...................................................................................................
HONOURABLE KEVIN O'BRIEN
Minister of Municipal Affairs
Ordered to be printed by the Honourable House of Assembly
This Bill would amend the City of St. John's Act to provide for the elimination of the business tax, the city tax and the vacant land tax.
This Bill would amend the City of St. John's Municipal Taxation Act by
eliminating the ability of the City
· providing the city with by-law making powers;
· allowing an owner of commercial real property, other than property in which the province is a tenant, to increase rent during the currency of a lease to recover from tenants the amount of any increase in commercial property taxes resulting from the elimination of the business tax;
· allowing an owner of a commercial real property to claim vacancy relief in relation to a portion of the property in which the province is a tenant to compensate the owner for his or her inability to increase rent due to the increase in commercial property tax resulting from the elimination of the business tax; and
· including a requirement that the city provide, upon request, a tax certificate confirming that all taxes are paid as of the date of the certificate.
AN ACT TO AMEND THE CITY OF
Ss.226 & 227 Rep.
S.233 & 234 Rep.
Ss.236 to 238 Rep.
Ss.12 & 13 Rep.
Ss.28.1 to 28.3 Added
Be it enacted by the Lieutenant-Governor and House of Assembly in Legislative Session convened, as follows:
RSNL1990 cC-17 as amended
1. Paragraph 95(f) of the City of
(f) to make special rules, regulations and by-laws governing the erection of buildings on the Southside between Jobs Bridge and Fort Amherst, in that district lying between Temperance Street and Chain Rock, and in other districts to which the general building and sanitary regulations are especially difficult of application, or to which the water and sewage systems have not been extended; and
2. Subsection 98(4) of the Act is repealed and the following substituted:
(4) The lessee under a lease of a development area or part of a development area or the assignee of the lessee shall, for the purpose of liability for a tax imposed on land or building or upon the owner in respect of land or buildings under this Act, be considered to be the owner of the land leased and all buildings on the land.
3. (1) Subsections 99(3) and (4) of the Act are repealed and the following substituted:
(3) The council shall, before designating a business improvement area, give notice of the intended by-laws to all persons, groups, businesses, organizations and companies carrying on a business, trade or profession within the proposed business improvement area.
(4) The council shall not designate a business improvement area where within 30 days of giving notice, 1/3 of those entitled to notice under subsection (3) give written notice to the city clerk of the objections to the designation of a business improvement area.
(2) Paragraphs 99(9)(a) and (b) of the Act are repealed and the following substituted:
(a) in order to provide revenue to a board for annual operating and other expenses, impose an annual levy on persons carrying on a business, trade or profession within a business improvement area;
(b) impose different levies for different business improvement areas;
(3) Subsection 99(11) of the Act is repealed and the following substituted:
(11) A levy imposed and collected under subsection (9) is subject to the City of St. John's Municipal Taxation Act.
(4) Paragraph 99(12)(i) of the Act is repealed and the following substituted:
(i) regarding the imposition of an annual levy;
4. Sections 226 and 227 of the Act are repealed.
5. Section 229 of the Act is repealed.
6. Sections 233 and 234 of the Act are repealed.
7. Sections 236 to 238 of the Act are repealed.
8. Section 240 of the Act is repealed.
9. Paragraph 241(2)(a) of the Act is repealed and the following substituted:
(a) the tax may be based upon and form the percentage of the appraised annual rental vale of the premises or part of them as the council may determine;
10. Section 259 of the Act is repealed and the following substituted:
259. The council shall, before December 15 in each year, estimate the probable receipts from all sources of revenue other than ground landlord's tax, and after deducting the amount so arrived at from the total estimated expenditure for the next year, shall fix a rate percentage for the ground landlord's tax as will in the total produce the amount required.
11. Section 260 of the Act is repealed.
12. Subsection 261(2) of the Act is repealed and the following substituted:
(2) The ground landlord's tax and water tax shall be payable half-yearly in advance on January 1 and July 1 in each year and may be rendered in one account or otherwise as the council may decide.
13. (1) Paragraph 327(e) of the Act is repealed and the following substituted:
(e) to enforce the collection of the ground landlord's tax, fuel oil tax, and all rates, dues, rents, fees or another amounts payable to the city on the due dates and in the manner provided in this Act or an agreement concerning the collection of taxes and to be the officer whose particular duty it shall be to provide all bills for materials sold by the city or for services provided by the city;
(2) Paragraph 327(h) of the Act is repealed and the following substituted:
(h) to collect a fee of not less that $1 or an amount agreed upon by the council for certificates which may be demanded under subsection 281(5) and to charge, subject to revision by the council, for particulars concerning indebtedness for ground landlord's tax which may be required by mortgagees or their agents or persons other than those designated as owners on the appraisement rolls;
SNL2006 cC-17.1 as amended
14. Section 4 of the City of St. John's Municipal Taxation Act is amended by adding immediately after subsection (4) the following:
(5) The council may, by by-law, establish vacancy relief for a commercial property, or a portion of a commercial property, that is vacant or considered vacant.
(6) For the purposes of subsection (5) and section 28.1, a commercial property, or a portion of a commercial property, occupied by the province as a tenant is considered vacant.
15. Subsection 9(3) of the Act is repealed and the following substituted:
(3) Notwithstanding subsection (2), the amount of real property tax payable under this section shall be that proportion of the tax for the full year that the number of days from the day on which the person completed the new construction or made the extension or started or resumed the business at a new or additional location, as the case may be, until the last day of the year bears to the total number of days in the year.
16. Sections 12 and 13 of the Act are repealed.
17. Section 14 of the Act is repealed and the following substituted:
Rent increase where tax increase
14. (1) Notwithstanding a provision in a lease, licence or permit for commercial property that is in effect on January 1, 2013, where that lease, licence or permit does not include a provision enabling the owner of the commercial property to increase the rent or require an annual deposit in relation to an increase in property tax payable by the owner, that lease, licence or permit is considered to include such a clause.
(2) Where a deposit is required or the rent is increased under subsection (1), the owner shall give the tenant notice in writing at least 90 days before the deposit is required or the rent is increased.
(3) Notice under subsection (2) may be provided by
(a) giving it to the tenant personally;
(b) giving it to an agent or an employee of the tenant on the premises;
(c) posting it in a conspicuous place in or on some part of the premises; or
(d) sending it to the tenant by registered mail, in which case notice is considered to have been given on the third day after the date of mailing.
(4) Subsection (1) shall not apply to a commercial property in which the province is a tenant.
18. Section 15 of the Act is repealed and the following substituted:
Tax rate fixed annually
15. The council shall, before December 15 in each year, fix the percentage for the rate of the real property tax for the next financial year that will, together with the anticipated revenues of the city from all other sources, produce the amount required to cover all expenditures of the council to be made from current funds during that next financial year.
19. Subsection 16(1) of the Act is repealed and the following substituted:
Arrangements re tax payments
16. (1) The council may make arrangements for the payment, reduction or remission of real property tax on account of the poverty of a person liable for the payment of that tax or for any other reason where that arrangement, reduction or remission is recommended by the board and approved by at least 5 councillors.
20. Section 17 of the Act is repealed and the following substituted:
Payment Review Board
17. (1) The council may appoint a board to be known as the Payment Review Board, consisting of the city clerk and other persons whom council may determine for the purpose of reviewing applications and making recommendations to the council under section 16 with respect to the arrangement, reduction or remission of the payment of real property tax.
(2) A person liable for the payment of real property tax may file with the board an affidavit and other evidence as to the circumstances that result in his or her application for an arrangement of or reduction or remission of payment of the tax.
21. Subsection 18(1) of the Act is repealed and the following substituted:
Non-payment after arrangement
18. (1) Where council has made an arrangement for the payment of the real property tax under section 16, the lien period in respect of a postponed payment shall start to run from the date specified in the resolution for that postponed payment.
22. The Act is amended by adding immediately after section 28 the following:
28.1 The council may make by-laws not inconsistent with this Act or the regulations or with another Act for the purpose of exercising its powers and performing the functions and duties vested or imposed in or on the council.
28.2 A by-law and an amendment or repeal of a by-law shall only be considered by the council where written notice was provided at a previous meeting at least one week prior.
28.3 (1) Notice of a by-law passed by the council shall be published in the Gazette and in a newspaper of general circulation in the city.
(2) The notice referenced in subsection (1) shall set out concisely the object of the by-law, the date of the passing of the by-law and contain the following statement:
Take notice that a person who wishes to view
the by-law may view it at the office of the city clerk of the St. John's
Municipal Council at City Hall and that a person who wishes to obtain a copy of
it may obtain a copy of it at the office upon payment of a reasonable fee, as
established by the
(3) The by-law shall have effect from the date of publication of the notice of the by-law or a later date that may be stated in the by-law.
23. (1) Subsection 30(1) of the Act is repealed and the following substituted:
Lien for taxes
30. (1) Taxes fixed, established and imposed in respect of real property constitute a lien upon that real property, except where the real property is sold for tax arrears by the council.
(2) Section 30 of the Act is amended by adding immediately after subsection (6) the following:
(7) Where the real property tax applicable to a property has been paid in full, the city clerk shall, upon demand, provide to a person entitled to the information, a certificate signed by him or her stating that the real property tax has been paid as of the date of the certificate.
24. Sections 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 13, 14, 15 and 17 of this Act come into force on January 1, 2013.
©William E. Parsons, Queen's Printer