Saturday, March 13, 2010

This should be good - an email I got yesterday

For my friends or anyone reading this that are not in New Brunswick or following local politics out here I apologize that you may not be able to relate to this. 
It is a matter taking place in New Brunswick between the municipalities and the provincial government. 
This matter appears to be heating up and I will likely end up in the fray somewhere in my capacity as a Councillor. 
Or maybe not. There is always the possibility that the province and municipalities will see eye to eye and all be happy. We'll see what develops. 
I'm not going to say anymore here and let you read for yourself. 
(I was up for the boys' 6 a.m. hockey practice and I am seriously very very tired.)
Read this and talk amongst yourselves. I'll catch up later. 


The President of the Union of Municipalities of New Brunswick, Mayor David Hanson of Rexton, has taken issue with the remarks of Premier Shawn Graham and some of his Ministers that municipalities are to blame for high property taxes this year.

The comment from the Premier that only five municipalities followed the province's recommendations with respect to rates leaves a false impression with residents/voters that municipalities are totally to blame for high property taxes.

"Tax rates are set by the municipality based on assessments which is a provincial function and it is the assessments that are the problem", states President Hanson. "If the problem is to be fixed it is essential that all parties sit down with each other and work towards a solution which is workable and which meets everyone's needs. That was not the case last year when the province unilaterally decided to establish the Provincial Tax Accountability mechanism without any consultation."

"It is easy to cast blame," added President Hanson, "but that does not solve the issue. As president of UMNB I believe it is imperative to sit down together to come up with a solution which is workable and the sooner the better."

It is UMNB's position that the federal and provincial governments  continue to download responsibilities to municipalities but do not provide any additional funding.

For example, additional insurance for firefighters became mandatory this year at a considerable cost but no funds were provided.

Only eight cents out of every tax dollar collected by the provincial government comes back to the municipal level of government.

Service New Brunswick's Assessment office performs the assessment of all New Brunswick properties thus I recommend the following: For further clarification or questions,  contact the Service New Brunswick Assessment office at 453-2831, specifically Dave Morrison, Assessment Office Manager or 1-888-762-8600. You may also submit a request for review i.e. make an appeal of your property value outlining any concerns and comparison to other homes in your neighbourhood . This must be filed within 30 days of the mailing date of the Assessment and Tax Notice i.e. by March 31st. I'm confident the Assessment Office will be able to answer any questions and the appeal process may be an avenue to consider pursuing.

Stay well,
Tim Scammell, PTech

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