FREDERICTON (GNB) – In light of the financial impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, the provincial government will not proceed with the proposed property tax reductions contained in the 2020-2021 Budget.

“It was clear last week in our fiscal and economic update that our position has deteriorated rapidly, and to that end, we will not be proceeding with proposed property tax reductions at this time”, said Finance and Treasury Board Minister Ernie Steeves. “Our government is committed to lowering the tax burden on New Brunswickers. But we have also been clear that we will do it only as the fiscal situation allows.”

In its budget, the government had announced phased-in reductions to the provincial property tax on non-owner-occupied residential properties, often referred to as the double tax, and to non-residential properties. Combined, these measures had been intended as an important first step in making the province’s tax system more competitive.

“We are facing an unprecedent economic downturn and it will likely take a period of years before revenues stabilize,” said Steeves. “As we begin to move down a path to recovery, we will explore all options on how we can encourage economic growth in a sustainable manner.”