of Bill :
Her Majesty, by and with the advice and consent of the Legislative Assembly of New Brunswick, enacts as follows:
Application of this Act
1(1) This Act binds the Crown.
1(2) For further certainty, this Act binds all government departments and agencies.
Statement of Purpose
2 The intent, purpose, and object of this Act is to ensure accessibility to residential property ownership for the people of New Brunswick.
3(1) The Assessment Act, chapter A-14 of the Revised Statutes of New Brunswick, 1973, is amended
(a) by adding in section 1 the following definitions in alphabetical order:
"improvement" means any renovation, addition or other improvements that are worth more than $5,000;
"owner-occupied residential property" means a property that serves as the owner's primary residence defined as no less than 183 days per year;
(b) by repealing section 15 and substituting the following:
15 Notwithstanding any other public or private Act or any tax agreement, but subject to sections 15.1, 15.2, 16, 17, 17.01 and 17.1, all real property shall be assessed at its real and true value as of January 1 of the year for which the assessment is made.
(c) by adding after section 17 the following:
17.01(1) This section applies to the assessment of real property classified by the Director as owner-occupied residential property in accordance with any criteria that may be prescribed by regulation.
17.01(2) The assessed value of the owner-occupied residential property shall be exempt from yearly assessment as prescribed by section 15 and remain frozen until the owner-occupied residential property is sold to a new owner.
17.01(3) Notwithstanding subsection 17.01(2), the assessment of the owner-occupied residential property shall be varied appropriately, where
(a) any improvements made to the property shall be taken into account which may allow for an increase in assessed value over and above the rate prescribed by regulation under paragraph 40(1)(f); and
(b) the annual assessment increases for unimproved properties shall not exceed the rate prescribed by regulation under paragraph 40(1)(f).
17.01(4) Notwithstanding subsection 14(3), where an owner-occupied residential property is passed through an estate to a spouse, child or grandchild, the transaction is not a sale for the purposes of this section.
17.01(5) Where an owner-occupied residential property is sold to a new owner, the new assessed value, which is established by the sale price, becomes the base for future property assessment increases if the property continues to be owner-occupied.
(d) in paragraph 40(1)(f) by striking out the period after the word "Act" and substituting a semi-colon;
(e) by adding after paragraph 40(1)(f) the following:
(g) respecting the selection of an appropriate inflationary index to limit the increases in assessed values of unimproved owner-occupied residential properties.