Frequently Asked Questions
  1. If I want to speak with an assessor, where do I call?
  2. Questioning your property assessment value?
  3. What do I do if I donít agree with the assessment?
  4. What does the 2018 "property assessment freeze" mean for me?
  5. Why have my taxes increased from last year if assessment values are frozen?
  6. How does property assessment impact my tax bill?
  7. What can I do if I am dissatisfied with the assessed value of my property?
  8. Can I check or compare the assessment on my neighbor's property?
  9. Why is my house not assessed the same as my neighbors when they look exactly the same?
  10. What evidence does the government have that my property has increased in value? Why has it gone up when I haven't made any changes to it?
  11. How can my assessment go up when nobody visited my property?
  12. Can my assessment ever go down?
  13. What do my property taxes pay for?
  14. What is "market value" and why are assessments based on it?
  15. How are secondary residences (cottages, camps) assessed?
  16. Why do some properties seem to go up a considerable amount in one year?

1) If I want to speak with an assessor, where do I call?

The telephone number for each assessment office can be found on your property tax bill or at Assessment Office Locations.

Before you officially begin the process of requesting a review on your property, it is strongly recommended that you contact the assessor directly to discuss the matter. The assessor will have relevant information with respect to your property and be able to give you an explanation as to how the value was calculated. The telephone number for each assessment office can be found on your property tax bill or at Assessment Office Locations.

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2) Questioning your property assessment value?

First consider what your property would sell for on the open real estate market. Your property assessment value should reflect its market value.

Property assessment is a complicated process that takes into account many different factors. We can understand that you might have questions about your assessment.

If you'd like more information about your assessment, please choose one of the following options:

  • Call 1-888-762-8600 and one of our trained service agents will be happy to help you, or
  • Call the phone number located on your Assessment and Tax Notice to speak with someone at your local Regional Assessment Office.

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3) What do I do if I donít agree with the assessment?

Before you Request a Review:

  • Ask yourself, "Is the value of my property reasonable? Would I be able to sell my property for the assessed value? Would I be prepared to sell my property for less than the assessed value?"
  • Discuss any of your valuation concerns with the regional Assessor by contacting the appropriate Regional Assessment Office or by referring to the regional office phone number located on your Assessment and Tax Notice

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4) What does the 2018 "property assessment freeze" mean for me?

Property assessments will remain at 2017 levels for the 2018 taxation year. However, there are some exceptions to the freeze which include:

  • new construction related to a building permit;
  • new construction and renovations without a building permit;
  • errors or omissions of property data resulting in a correction to the 2018 valuation;
  • real estate/property sale transactions;
  • a change in current use/classification of the property (i.e. the subdivision of property or change in occupancy) resulting in a change in property valuation;
  • and a decrease in property value based on market forces.

While the property assessment will remain at the 2017 level, a change to the tax rate by a local government will impact the total amount of property taxes payable. The provincial government is working with local governments to help offset potential revenue losses due to the property assessment freeze.

Property assessments in New Brunswick are based on the market value of a property (the price that a property would likely sell for on the open real estate market) as of Jan. 1 for the year the assessment is made. This is the most common method of property assessment used in North America today.

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5) Why have my taxes increased from last year if assessment values are frozen?

Property assessments will remain at 2017 levels for the 2018 taxation year. However, there are some exceptions to the freeze which include:

  • new construction related to a building permit;
  •  new construction and renovations without a building permit;
  • errors or omissions of property data resulting in a correction to the 2018 valuation;
  • real estate/property sale transactions;
  • a change in current use/classification of the property (i.e. the subdivision of property or change in occupancy) resulting in a change in property valuation;
  • and a decrease in property value based on market forces.

While the property assessment will remain at the 2017 level, a change to the tax rate by a local government will impact the total amount of property taxes payable.

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6) How does property assessment impact my tax bill?

Property assessment, based on market value, plays a valuable and important role in paying for local and provincial services across the province. The assessed value of homes and other properties within a municipality or rural area make up what is known as the tax base.

As part of their annual municipal budget process, municipalities use their tax base to figure out what tax rate they need to use to cover their spending for the following year.

For most home owners within a municipality, your tax bill is largely a result of the following equation:

Provincial property tax on certain property types

For certain types of property, the provincial government also applies a tax to help cover the cost of provincially-provided services, such as road maintenance and snow removal. These properties include:

  • Rental
  • Industrial
  • Recreational
  • Commercial
  • Homes in local service districts (LSDs)

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7) What can I do if I am dissatisfied with the assessed value of my property?

There are several avenues to pursue if you feel the assessed value of your property is in excess of the real and true value (market value); the first of which is to call the Assessor. Questioning your property assessment value? 

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8) Can I check or compare the assessment on my neighbor's property?

Yes. The assessed values of all properties in New Brunswick are available here

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9) Why is my house not assessed the same as my neighbors when they look exactly the same?

As the old saying goes, "looks can be deceiving". Your house and your neighbor's house may look very much the same but there are a lot of factors that distinguish one from the other and could result in a different assessment for each property. Many of these factors are listed in the question previous to this one and the most obvious are ones like finished basements, age and quality of building and type of garage. Even two seemingly identical houses can have different assessments if they are located in different parts of a city, in a different community or subjected to measurably different market forces.

The bottom line is that each assessment is unique to the individual house or property. 

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10) What evidence does the government have that my property has increased in value? Why has it gone up when I haven't made any changes to it?

As New Brunswick uses the market value standard, assessors use real estate sales and costs of construction across the province to measure the increase and decrease in property values. This data is then used to establish market value in all neighborhoods throughout the region.

When a property in your neighborhood sells for more than its assessed value, this suggests a higher value for all properties in that neighborhood - even though no physical improvements may have been made to any of these properties. These trends are then analyzed and used to make adjustments to assessments to bring them in line with market value. 

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11) How can my assessment go up when nobody visited my property?

There are 470,000 properties in New Brunswick. That means assessors would have to visit 2,000 properties every day each year to visit every property in the province. It is neither realistic nor necessary for them to do so to establish the real and true market value of a property.

While a property may not be visited for a number of years, assessors have a file for each property in the province with the necessary details about the land and buildings. By combining all this data with real estate sales and new construction in a neighborhood, adjustments are made annually to assessments to reflect the current market value for each property. 

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12) Can my assessment ever go down?

Absolutely. If the market demonstrates a contraction in real estate values, the assessments in that area will be adjusted downward into the future. This is a very real occurrence and has happened in certain New Brunswick communities in recent years.

Again, it simply depends on the level of economic activity in a community and the strength of the demand for housing in each neighborhood. As a home is often a family's largest asset, people prefer to see their home increase in value each year as they are then building equity and net worth. 

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13) What do my property taxes pay for?

Again, if you're a typical homeowner in New Brunswick - that is, you don't have a rental property in your home - 100% of your property taxes go to the municipality you reside in to fund the priorities they choose. There is a small amount - an average of about $25 per property - that goes back to the province to fund provincial assessment services.

If you have a rental property in your home, you pay municipal property tax on the residential piece of your home and you pay both municipal and provincial property tax on the piece of your home that you rent out. 

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14) What is "market value" and why are assessments based on it?

Market value is the price that a property would likely sell for on the open real estate market at a given point in time - January 1st of each tax year. It is the most common method of property assessment used in North America today.

Assessments are based on market value because market value is transparent (real estate prices are published in the newspaper every day and sale prices are now public knowledge), easy to understand and a fair and realistic measure of a property's value.

Our assessors aren't actually determining market value; they are simply reflecting the values that have been established by buyers and sellers in local real estate markets across the province.

Factors that affect market value could include:

  • property location (including nearness to green spaces, community services, and access)
  • total finished floor area of a home
  • lot size
  • finished basement or lower level of home (finished floor, walls and ceiling)
  • quality of construction - materials and labour
  • age of building and abnormal depreciation
  • existence and type of garage
  • traffic influences or neighbourhood characteristics
  • in the case of income producing properties, the income generated by that property

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15) How are secondary residences (cottages, camps) assessed?

Secondary residence are assessed in the same manner as primary residences - by using the market value standard and by looking at all the same factors - sales prices in the neighborhood, new construction and renovations.

However, secondary residences are taxed in a different way than primary residences. Owners of secondary residences do not receive the provincial residential property tax credit, which is for primary residences only. It was introduced over a period of years in the 1970's to lessen the tax load on homeowners and to promote home ownership.

Every individual owning their principal residence in New Brunswick is eligible and receives the provincial residential property tax credit - that is, a typical homeowner pays property tax to the municipality but is exempted from paying any provincial property tax.

Most people in New Brunswick do not own more than one residence. Government recognizes the importance of the primary residence to New Brunswickers and provides this provincial residential property tax credit. Those with secondary or seasonal residences are not eligible for this credit on their second property as it is, by definition, not their primary residence. 

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16) Why do some properties seem to go up a considerable amount in one year?

With 470,000 properties across the province that must be reassessed, it remains a challenge to ensure that each property is assessed at as close to market value as it can be each year. There are a number of reasons why a property may have a spike in the assessment in a given year:

  • New construction on, or renovation to, the property.
  • In any given year, a very small number of properties may not be as close to market value as they should be. This means that the next year potentially becomes a "catch-up" year and those property's assessments may jump considerably when compared to the average for that community and the annual expected increase.
  • The sale of a property can bring an under-assessment to light. There may have been improvements made to a property that the Assessor was previously unaware of and the sale price indicates this under-assessment.
  • A change in land classification. For example woodland or farmland being turned into lots along a road or waterway

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