Service New Brunswick

New legislation introduced to improve property assessment appeal process (08/12/10)

NB 1792

Dec. 10, 2008

FREDERICTON (CNB) - Legislation was introduced today that, if enacted, will improve the property assessment appeal process in New Brunswick. The legislation was introduced by Greg Byrne, minister responsible for Service New Brunswick.

The proposed amendments to the Assessment Act would meet and exceed recommendations from the February 2008 report from the office of the ombudsman, entitled Residential Property Assessment Appeal Process in New Brunswick: Leveling the Playing Field. The report included a number of recommendations aimed at enhancing fairness, accessibility and transparency in the assessment appeal process, and in particular, during hearings held in front of the Assessment and Planning Appeal Board.

"Service New Brunswick has acted quickly to respond to the ombudsman's report," Byrne said. "I'm confident that, if passed, these amendments will modernize the act and make the appeal process more fair and transparent."

Service New Brunswick's proposed amendments meet and exceed the major recommendations put forward by the ombudsman's report, including:

Service New Brunswick is addressing further recommendations of the ombudsman by making regulatory and non-regulatory changes to the program, including formalizing a 15-day information-sharing period, and greater public awareness and accessibility.

Both the legislative and regulatory amendments will come into effect Jan. 1, 2009. Information explaining the changes will be included in the 2009 tax bills, which will be mailed to all property owners on March 1, 2009.

08/12/10

MEDIA CONTACT: Brent Staeben or Brent Roy, communications, Service New Brunswick, 506-453-6775.

08/12/10