County appeals decision allowing bid to nix Nova Scotia mill tax deal to proceed

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HALIFAX - Richmond County is appealing a Nova Scotia Supreme Court decision to hear an application seeking the cancellation of a municipal tax deal for the idled NewPage Port Hawkesbury paper mill.

In documents filed with the Nova Scotia Court of Appeal, the county says Judge John Murphy erred in finding that legislation fixing municipal tax rates paid by the mill simply enabled the deal to proceed.

The county has maintained that only the provincial legislature has the authority to amend a tax arrangement set out in legislation.

However, in his ruling last month Murphy said that he didn't believe there was anything that prevented the parties from terminating the tax agreement.

Prospective buyer, Pacific West Commercial Corp., contends it should pay about one-third of its current estimated tax bill of $2.5 million, something the county says would result in a 20 per cent tax hike for residents.

A court hearing on the merits of the company's argument is scheduled for Thursday in Halifax, while the county will appear in court on its appeal Sept. 26.

Organizations: Nova Scotia Supreme Court, Pacific West Commercial

Geographic location: Nova Scotia, HALIFAX, Richmond

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