N.B. to issue amended tax bills after original bills contained significant increases
Published Thursday, March 16, 2017 11:37AM ADT
New property tax bills are set to be sent to hundreds of New Brunswick residents whose original bills contained significant tax increases, even though there had been few, if any, changes to their properties.
Wayne Murphy says his property tax bill had increased by more than $25,000 when compared to last year.
“The only improvements we really made to the house were some insulation in the attic and we had to do some fix-up from some water in the basement,” says Murphy. “Since I bought the house in 2012, it's been a relatively stable assessment the whole way along."
Confused by his latest assessment, he asked his neighbours about their bills.
“Some numbers had gone up similar to mine, like 15 or 14 per cent, and some had actually gone down a few per cent, so it didn’t seem to make a lot of sense to me why there were these crazy ups and downs,” says Murphy.
The New Brunswick government says 2,400 property owners will be issued amended tax bills. They will be notified by April 1, receive a new bill by June 1, and will then have 30 days to ask for a review.
Murphy says he has already appealed his assessment.
“And they were very good and said, ‘We’re looking into them and there’s a few people ahead of you,’” says Murphy.
The provincial government is attributing the errors to a range of issues, from incorrect property classifications to discrepancies in property record data. The official opposition says there could be more errors out there.
“Will the minister responsible agree to help publicize the fact that many New Brunswickers might overpay their property taxes by many hundred dollars and that the deadline should be extended for all?” asked New Brunswick Progressive Conservative MLA Blaine Higgs during a sitting at the legislature.
At this point, the province says all other property owners will have until the end of March to file an appeal, with property taxes due by the end of May.
With files from CTV Atlantic's Nick Moore