Property assessments in New Brunswick are on the rise

New Brunswick homeowners are sounding the alarm over what they say are skyrocketing increases in the province’s property assessment.

“The latest increases we’ve received average about 42%, an increase that’s extreme in our minds,” said Willie Scholten, president of the Apartment Owners Association of New Brunswick (ANBNB).

“We have never seen increases like this in New Brunswick.

The NBAOA, which represents about 70% of rental housing in New Brunswick, estimates that this will result in more than $50 million more in taxes each year.

“The owners who called me saw between 20% and 120% [increases]», explains Scholten. “The result is taxes that are probably going to add up to more than $100 [rent] increases in many cases.

The provincial opposition is calling for action on the issue from the Higgs government, in particular, a cap on assessment increases.

“We have a temporary infusion of investment where outside investors are buying these apartment buildings, and that adds to a temporary increase in the value of these properties,” said Opposition Leader Roger Melanson.

The NBAOA also cites what has been dubbed “double taxation” in New Brunswick as another issue facing its members, but Acorn New Brunswick says eliminating this could make things worse for renters.

“In fact, what we’ve heard from other experts in the province is that if you were to remove these taxes, what could happen is that it could encourage real estate investment trusts and financialized owners to come to the province and buy more homes,” says Sarah Lunney, president of Acorn NB.

Lunney says what New Brunswick needs is rent control.

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