FREDERICTON (GNB) – Amendments to the Assessment Act were introduced today that eliminate property tax for local government transit facilities beginning with the 2020 taxation year.

“Our government recognizes the various challenges facing our local communities and we have been working closely with local government representatives to address their concerns,” said Finance and Treasury Board Minister Ernie Steeves. “We will continue to work with local governments to build financially stable and sustainable communities.”

Local government transit systems eligible for this property tax exemption include Saint John Transit, Codiac Transpo, and Fredericton Transit.

For the 2020 property taxation year, these three local government transit systems have a total assessed value of about $28 million and would pay property tax of about $615,000.

The amendments would address one of 20 action items contained in Sustaining Saint John: A Three-Part Plan, intended to support the city’s return to fiscal sustainability. This will help reduce operating costs and assist in promoting public transit as a low-cost and environmentally friendly alternative.

“COVID-19 has been a challenge for everyone, but it has allowed us the opportunity to do things differently,” said Steeves. “If we want to build a stronger economic future for New Brunswick, we must work together to ensure our province emerges stronger and more resilient than ever before.”

The announcement reflects the government’s commitment to prioritize the implementation of local government reform.