FREDERICTON (GNB) – Nearly 130,000 property owners will be receiving their 2021 property assessment or amended property assessment notice this week.

Included in that total are a number of businesses affected by the COVID-19 pandemic. About 1,850 businesses did not receive their assessment notice in October to allow for further review of the impact of COVID-19 prior to the Jan. 1, 2021 cut off date.

“There is no question that the lockdown and other restrictions imposed to limit the spread of COVID-19 has had an impact on the market value of a number of property types, not only in New Brunswick but across Canada and around the world,” said Service New Brunswick Minister Mary Wilson. “Property Assessment Services quickly assembled a task force to monitor and gather additional information from owners of business properties, and worked with the International Property Tax Institute to determine the impact of COVID-19 on five categories of properties.”

The property types most impacted are: hotels, motels and resorts; shopping centres; restaurants; office buildings; and airports. Research and market analysis performed on these property types indicated decreases in the property assessment valuations for the 2021 taxation year were warranted and adjustments have been made accordingly.

Assessment notices will be mailed on Jan. 27 to these property owners. These assessment value adjustments are for the 2021 assessment year only. Property Assessment Services will continue to monitor and evaluate the impact of COVID-19.

A total of 28,000 notices will also be mailed out on Jan. 27 as the result of either being held for further review or for reasons such as a sale/transfer, new property account number, or building permits occurring late in the year.

An additional 100,287 home owners are receiving an amended assessment notice as the result of changes to the Assessment Act. The changes are aimed at making the property tax system more fair and providing local governments with the ability to raise additional revenue by removing the Permanent Assessment Gap Exemption (P-gap). Introduced in 2013, homeowners with a P-gap exemption have not been paying property taxes on the true market value of their homes.

Based on 2021 assessment data, the average P-gap value is $6,900 and its removal will result in an average property tax increase in the range of $100. Owner occupied properties impacted by the change will be protected by the spike protection mechanism that limits the amount their Assessment for Taxation increases to no more than 10 per cent a year (excluding new construction and/or major improvements).

Property owners receiving their 2021 assessment notice or an amended notice have 30 days to submit a Request for Review. There will be no Request for Review period when property tax notices are sent out in March.