FREDERICTON (GNB) – The following statement was released today by Environment and Local Government Minister and Service New Brunswick Minister Serge Rousselle:

I had the opportunity to meet with the province’s municipal associations on Monday to discuss their concerns about property tax revenue and the new independent property assessment agency to be established this fall.

The majority of local governments will continue to see their property tax revenues from assessment increase this year because of new construction and real estate market sales. Recognizing that both the provincial and municipal governments face financial challenges, we will work with local governments that will see a decrease in revenue relative to the prior year, due to the freeze in property tax assessments, on a case-by-case basis to provide financial assistance. However, this will not apply to local governments whose revenue will increase from a growing tax base.

The government will work with the Provincial Municipal Council, on which all the province’s municipal associations are represented, towards the creation of a new independent property assessment agency.

Your government believes that a freeze to assessments until the property assessment system has been improved was the only responsible choice. That is why we are taking the necessary steps to ensure public confidence is restored in the property tax assessment process. Freezing assessments in 2018 will help to ensure fairness and predictability for homeowners while the government moves to establish an independent agency to take over responsibility for property tax assessments.