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Cedar Brae Crescent residents seek 70 per cent tax reduction from City of St. John's

Ward 4 Coun. Ian Froude submitted a petition at the regular Monday council meeting on behalf of about 40 residents who signed it.
Ward 4 Coun. Ian Froude submitted a petition at the regular Monday council meeting on behalf of about 40 residents who signed it. - Juanita Mercer

Petition cites ‘unfair taxation’ for ‘non-existent’ services

ST. JOHN'S, N.L. —

There are six city services that Cedar Brae Crescent residents say are lacking on their street, and they want their taxes to reflect that.

A petition signed by about 40 residents of the cul-de-sac was presented in council Monday evening by Ward 4 Coun. Ian Froude.

The petition calls for an immediate and retroactive 70 per cent reduction in property taxes.

It cites non-existent water treatment and non-existent sewer service on the small crescent, which is off Thorburn Road about three kilometres from the Avalon Mall.

According to the petition, residents use wells and septic systems that they maintain at their own expense.

Currently, St. John’s residents get a half mill discount if they are not connected to water services, and a half mill discount if they are not connected to sewer services. Cedar Brae Crescent residents receive these discounts.

Another concern listed in the petition is compromised fire protection, with no fire hydrants on the street, and higher rates of insurance paid by residents.

The petition says there are no sidewalks, curbs, gutters or catch basins, and flooding is “inevitable when there are heavier than normal rainfalls together with washouts to private dwellings and landscaping.”

It also says Metrobus service is non-existent in the unserviced areas of Thorburn Road.

Lastly, the petition questions why residents of the cul-de-sac should contribute to paying for water treatment plants and staff infrastructure through their taxes.

“We do acknowledge garbage collection and snowclearing, but how much time and effort is required at city hall to plan for these two services?” the petition reads.

“Why do we pay for general administration expenses, planning department, etc., at city hall.

“We have been advised there is absolutely no consideration of providing any of the above services for the next 10 years, so these departments are not working for rural, unserviced areas such as ours.”

Froude asked city staff for a detailed review of each of the points made by residents in the petition.

“On a tax level, we’re pretty constrained by provincial legislation as to what we can do,” said Froude.

“Right now, properties that aren’t on water and sewer get a mill rate discount because of that, and they also don’t pay the water fee, which properties that are connected pay.”

A previous petition was submitted to the city by residents of Cedar Brae Crescent on Jan. 20 citing no sidewalks, fire hydrants, or water and sewer service, and asking when they would receive those services.

Twitter: @juanitamercer_


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