FREDERICTON (GNB) – The provincial government introduced legislation today to freeze property assessments for one year.

“Your government is committed to restoring public confidence in the property assessment process,” said Service New Brunswick Minister Serge Rousselle. “We believe that an assessment freeze is the responsible choice that allows time to resolve issues pertaining to governance, assessment methodology, project management and quality assurance within Service New Brunswick.”

Property assessments will remain at 2017 levels for the 2018 taxation year. However, there are some exceptions to the freeze which include: new construction related to a building permit; new construction and renovations without a building permit; errors or omissions of property data resulting in a correction to the 2018 valuation; real estate/property sale transactions; a change in current use/classification of the property (i.e. the subdivision of property) resulting in a change in property valuation; and a decrease in property value based on market forces.

While the property assessment will remain at the 2017 level, a change to the tax rate by a local government will impact the total amount of property taxes payable. The provincial government is working with local governments to help offset potential revenue losses due to the property assessment freeze.

“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,” said Rousselle. “However, recognizing that both the provincial and municipal governments face financial challenges, we are working with local governments that may be negatively impacted by the property assessment freeze on a case-by-case basis to provide financial assistance.”

Property assessments in New Brunswick are based on the market value of a property (the price that a property would likely sell for on the open real estate market) as of Jan. 1 for the year the assessment is made. This is the most common method of property assessment used in North America today.