Riverview residents upset over proposal to add $3,000 to tax bills for road repairs
Published Monday, March 13, 2017 8:19PM ADT
Some Riverview, N.B. residents are fighting a proposal to add nearly $3,000 to their tax bills for road improvements.
Late last month, residents were informed six streets will see major upgrades, including new water mains, sidewalks, curbs, and catch basins.
Some feel they're being charged twice for the repairs. They pay property taxes, and now they're being told they have to pay extra for the repairs in their neighbourhood.
“(I) pay so much tax, nobody is happy to get that letter,” says resident Ben Black.
Black is one of dozens pressing the town of Riverview to find another way to fix the residential roads.
Under the New Brunswick Municipalities Act, the town has the legal right to charge residents for work being done in their specific area. A process they say has worked smoothly since the 1980’s.
“People want their streets upgraded; they want these improvements, so there are some who would be very much in support of this,” says Riverview CAO Colin Smith. “The streets look better, the look of the houses looks better. People have seen an increased value associated with their home because the street around them has been upgraded.”
The additional taxes are determined by the length of the front of each property. Homeowners will be billed $115 per metre, with the average falling around $3,000.
Black says he's heavily in favour of the upgrades, but with a baby on the way, he feels his property taxes should cover the work.
“$3,000 dollars would buy a lot of stuff for the baby, house improvements and things like that,” he says. “It can be better used for my own personal needs than the city.”
Property owners are able to pay up front, or split the payments over a 10 year period. If they don't, the town can place a levy on their property to be paid off in the future.
Black says that still isn't ideal for a neighbourhood with young families, single parents, and retirees.
“Nobody has any extra money, especially if you're trying to raise a couple of kids, working, and everything else. Same with the elderly people on fixed income. It's just not like you can pull money out of nowhere that doesn't exist.”
Since more than half of the people living in the area have voiced their opposition of the project, town council will hold a public meeting Monday night to decide whether or not the project will go ahead.
With files from CTV Atlantic’s Cami Kepke