International News Desk – At Home: Homeowner urges tax fight against ATV noise – In Foreign News: Coca-Cola strikes deal with small fruit farmers

International News Desk – At Home: Homeowner urges tax fight against ATV noise – In Foreign News: Coca-Cola strikes deal with small fruit farmers

At Home: Homeowner urges tax fight against ATV noise

A group of Nova Scotia homeowners won a tax fight against ATVs last year, but their case may not have set a precedent for others.

In 2009, Bob Haagensen was one of six property owners who argued that noisy ATVs were enough of a nuisance to reduce their property values. They successfully appealed against ?an increase to their assessments, and thus a rise in their property taxes,? as the CBC reports.

For other homeowners affected by excessive ATV noise, Haagensen is hoping ?a flood of appeals? will convince City Hall to either enforce existing noise bylaws or ban the ATVs from municipal trails.

?Their policy is causing people’s property values to drop,? Haagensen told reporters. ?And to go along with that, you’re going to have reduced revenue from your property taxes.?

However, other homeowners may not find the same relief. The company responsible for Nova Scotia property assessments, Property Value Services Corporation, claims ?there’s no proof that ATV use has any effect on property values.?

they’re looking closely at the issue, and aren’t convinced there’s any merit to last year’s successful claims. As a company spokesperson told reporters, ?maybe we need to start defending these values a little more rigorously because we now feel we have evidence to say that the market value is correct.?

In Foreign News: Coca-Cola strikes deal with small fruit farmers

More than 50,000 small fruit farmers in Kenya and Uganda are poised to become suppliers to industry giant Coca-Cola. According to Afrol News, the partnership will allow the farmers to ?increase their productivity and double their incomes by 2014.? Other organizations involved in the deal include the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation and the non-profit TechnoServe.

The Gates Foundation has provided a $7.5 million grant toward the four-year, US$11.5 million partnership. The deal will see the farmers, who grow mangoes and passion fruit, become part of Coca-Cola’s supply chain ?for the first time.? The farmers? crops will be used in fruit juices that are produced and sold locally. TechnoServe will help provide training to increase production and improve quality.

The model for this agreement is designed to be easily transferable to other areas. Muhtar Kent, Chairman and CEO of The Coca-Cola Company, told reporters, ?This partnership is the type of innovative approach needed to foster economic empowerment across the globe and we are proud to be a part of this effort in East Africa.?

TechnoServe has already built several similar partnerships in Africa, with a focus on sustainable, environmental farming practices as well as maintaining social standards. The farmers involved in existing projects produce crops such as coffee, cocoa, and bananas.

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