17 May 2017
Fredericton-Opposition Leader Blaine Higgs is calling on Premier Brian Gallant to give relief to property owners who are caught up in the property tax scandal. May 31st is the deadline to pay property taxes. That deadline has been extended for over 2000 property owners whose assessments were identified as having renovations “fabricated” by government officials, causing huge increases in assessments and tax bills. Their new deadline for payment is September 1st.
“The Premier created this mess, New Brunswickers are suffering financially as a result and it is up to the Premier to take action. The deadline is two weeks from now so the Premier needs to act quickly.” Higgs said on Wednesday.
The Opposition leader suggests that property owners who have appeals pending should not be required to pay more than a ten percent increase in their property tax until the appeal process has been completed.
“There is a cap of ten percent in place and the Premier should respect that cap. Service NB says it will be sometime in 2018 before they get the assessment mess sorted out, and it is simply wrong for the Gallant government to expect people to overpay their property taxes and wait that long for a refund.”
At an April news conference the Premier stated that 100,000 assessments had been impacted by the new assessment system. That system was ordered rushed into place by the Premier’s Office. Over 15,000 appeals have been submitted so far, with the deadline to appeal assessments extended to August 1st after pressure by the Opposition.