Irving paper defends Irving tax deal

Written by Jean-Claude Basque on May 4, 2016

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Saint John, one of the poorest cities in Canada, has not been collecting the property tax on the Irving Canaport LNG facility that it should have for 11 years. Saint John City council voted unanimously on May 2 to end the tax deal. Photo by Peter Johnston.

Saint John City Council is trying to renegotiate a 25 year agreement it made with Irving in 2005 that gave the company an annual property tax break on its Canaport LNG facility. Irving was currently paying $500,000 each year when it should have been paying over $8 million per year to the city.

The editor of the Telegraph-Journal, an Irving-owned newspaper, today criticized the Saint John councilors who voted at council meeting on May 2 to end the tax deal. The editor acknowledges that the deal had its flaws but argues that the city benefited from the tax break since the company has created about 100 jobs and donates hundreds of thousands of dollars to the hospital and community organizations.

The editor seems to forget that these charitable donations are possible precisely because Irving saves millions of dollars each year on the backs of taxpayers of Saint John.

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