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  • Kyle Bolt

Legislation Introduced to Cover More Properties with Permanent Spike Protection Mechanism

The provincial government has introduced legislation that, if passed, would expand a permanent spike protection mechanism and help protect more property owners from property tax increases due to rising assessments. Beginning in the 2025 taxation year, annual property assessment increases would be limited to 10 per cent on all eligible properties. Recently sold properties and those with new construction or major improvements would be excluded.

“Since 2020, New Brunswick has experienced unprecedented population growth and an active real estate market,” said Service New Brunswick Minister Mary Wilson. “These factors are putting strain on property owners who continue to see significant rises in their property’s assessed values and, in some cases, provincial and local taxes. Property owners have asked for more permanent protection against annual property assessment increases, and we have listened.”

The total value of property assessments in the province for 2024 is $89.4 billion, an increase of 10.4 per cent, or $8.4 billion, over the previous year.

A permanent spike protection mechanism is already in place for eligible owner-occupied residential properties with an assessment increase greater than 10 per cent. This was implemented in 2013 to protect those homeowners from significant spikes in their assessment. It excludes properties with new construction or major improvements, those that have been recently sold, and vacant land.

A temporary property tax relief program for non-residential properties and apartment buildings with four units or more, with annual assessment increases greater than 10 per cent, was available for the 2022 and 2023 taxation years.

As indicated in the housing strategy released in June, the temporary property tax relief program has been extended for the 2024 taxation year to all properties and applies only to the provincial portion of taxes. Like the current spike protection mechanism and the earlier temporary relief program, new construction, recent sales and major improvements are excluded. The temporary property tax relief will be available in March as property tax notices are mailed on March 1.

“We want New Brunswick to continue to be one of the most affordable places to live in Canada,” said Finance and Treasury Board Minister Ernie Steeves. “By limiting assessment increases to 10 per cent on eligible properties, we hope to ease, at least in part, some financial pressure many have been experiencing.”

Property assessment notices for 2024 will be mailed Jan. 15. Property owners will have 30 days from the day their notice is sent to request a review of their property’s value.

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