New Brunswick caps property tax payments for businesses and large apartments – New Brunswick
Owners of businesses and apartment buildings in New Brunswick could benefit from additional relief on their property tax bills.
A temporary spike protection mechanism, used to prevent soaring property values from significantly increasing a property tax bill, was introduced by the provincial government on Friday morning.
“I hope the two years of spike protection is a pathway to spike protection for everyone,” New Brunswick Finance Minister Ernie Steeves told reporters.
Later, Steeves said that was just his opinion and not a decision voted on by the cabinet.
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For now, the relief will be in effect for the 2022 and 2023 property tax years and will be available on non-residential properties and apartment buildings with four or more units, with annual assessment increases greater than 10%.
A similar spike protection mechanism was introduced in 2013 for homeowners.
Another temporary measure to ease the pressure caused by the rising cost of living was a sticking point for Green Party leader David Coon.
Recently, Coon had advocated for the province’s 3.8% rent cap to be extended for several years, with regulations allowing for its review and removal.
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“He just throws bread crumbs with these unique things. One-time rent cap for one year, one-time commercial protection against rent spikes for two years. There has to be a thoughtful policy,” Coon said.
Liberal MP Jacques LeBlanc says providing property tax relief on commercial properties is a good start, although it shouldn’t be used on a temporary basis.
If it continues in its current state, LeBlanc fears the spike protection measure will further harm short-term renters.
Proposed rent cap legislation is being reviewed by the NB Legislative Committee.
“The thing is, they have to foot the biggest bill this year, and they won’t get credit until next year,” he said.
LeBlanc added that the introduction of two-year spike protection for landlords, while the rent cap remains in effect for only one year, is a sign of inequality.
According to a government press release, the relief program will provide provincial and local property tax savings of approximately $10 million for apartment buildings with four or more units, and $4 million for non-residential properties.
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