N.B. opposition looking for those affected by tax assessment controversy
Published Wednesday, April 5, 2017 8:25PM ADT
Now that it's been revealed property tax assessments were being fabricated in New Brunswick, the official opposition wants to know how many were affected.
The Progressive Conservatives are asking property owners to tell their stories. They also want to hear from people who work at Service New Brunswickwho might know more about what happened and who was responsible.
The PCs are now setting up an online portal, asking for tax stories and promising everyone will remain anonymous. PC leader Blaine Higgs says he wants to hear from those affected so it can be determined how big the issue is.
“We want the information, we don't want their names,” says Higgs. “Everyone's now concerned with the financial situation, the exposure and the tax increases and we now have people worried about their jobs. So we're saying we need an outlet for these people and we need to protect them.”
The opposition has also been calling on the minister responsible for Service New Brunswick, Ed Doherty, to resign.
On Monday, Premier Gallant appointed an independent review of the process that produced more than 2,000 inflated property tax assessments. The review could also come with some recommendations for dismissal of some Service NB staff.
Higgs says the approval for the new assessment system came from the premier's office.
“When the order comes right from the premier's office, then that's where the buck stops,” says Higgs. “The premier should be taking responsibility for what goes on in his office.”
Service NB says 3,000 errors have been caught, and as of last Friday 9,500 appeals were made.
Service NB says they will provide a new, likely higher, number of appeals when they recalculate on Friday.
With files from CTV Atlantic's Laura Brown