A Saint John city councillor says it is time for the municipality to look at a two-tier system for property taxes.
Ward 2 Coun. John MacKenzie believes rural residents are being taxed unfairly.
"I don't think they should be charged the same tax rate as somebody who is living in an area where they have all the amenities right next door," he told CBC News.
In addition, the city can no longer afford to provide many services in rural areas, said MacKenzie.
"As long as we decide to be everything to everybody in a city this size it's going to be cost prohibitive," he said.
MacKenzie has not yet raised the proposal with council, but he contends services should either be reduced in rural areas, or improved in core parts of the city.
Either way, he said, the tax rate would be different.
The high tax rate has long been a sore point for some rural residents, who have fewer services than people in more urban areas.
"You continue to charge us the same tax rate as everyone else in this city," Latimore Lake resident Odette McGrath told council at a recent council meeting.
Former councillor and rural city resident Bruce Court said he would like to pay less taxes. But the city can't afford it, he said.
"It just won't work. The city needs X amount of dollars and you've got to have them."
Court said he has no sidewalks, public transit, water or sewage. He can't imagine the city reducing services further in exchange for less tax revenue, he said.