Finance

Base tax rates announced for property tax accountability mechanism (09/11/13)

NB 1800

Nov. 13, 2009

FREDERICTON (CNB) - The 2010 property tax base rates were announced today by Finance Minister Greg Byrne. The rates were calculated for all cities, towns and villages in the province, in accordance with government's new property tax accountability mechanism.

The rates are determined by a formula that uses the tax base of communities from the previous year, plus new construction and a market value increase of up-to-inflation, using the consumer price index (CPI).

"We are pleased to have brought forward the property tax accountability mechanism, and feel that it will go a long way toward making government more accountable to taxpayers," said Byrne. "The new property tax base rates allow communities to continue to benefit from growth in annual property tax revenues from new construction and inflation."

Byrne said that if a municipality needs to set a tax rate higher than the one outlined by the mechanism, it can do so by putting the new rate to a public vote. If the province wanted to set a higher provincial property tax rate than arrived at through the mechanism, the matter would have to be brought to the floor of the legislature for a vote.

The property tax accountability mechanism was part of the comprehensive lower tax package that was introduced as part of the 2009-10 provincial budget last March.

The mechanism is government's response to a situation, which has become more prevalent over the years, whereby property taxes have increased significantly faster than inflation. Considerable growth in property values across the province has led to property assessment increases, but tax rates generally have not dropped to offset the increase in property values.

"This new mechanism allows for a clearer picture of how rates should look in accordance to new growth and inflation," said Byrne.

Municipal councils will set their tax rates early in 2010. Tax base information for 2010, as well as the property tax base rates as calculated by the property tax accountability mechanism, may be found online.

09/11/13

MEDIA CONTACT: Marc Belliveau, communications, Department of Finance 506-453-4138; Brent Staeben, Service New Brunswick, 506-444-2207.

09/11/13