7 June 2022
Hon. Ernie Steeves
Minister of Finance, Government of New Brunswick
P. O. Box 6000
Via email: email@example.com
Re: Property Tax Spike Protection
Dear Minister Steeves:
I am writing today to commend you and your government for listening to the concerns of the business community regarding recent dramatic increases to property assessments in the province, which has led to a significant and sudden increase in the property tax burden for apartment owners. We support the spike protection legislation that was introduced by your government last week and hope it is quickly passed and brought into force.
As you know, the lack of housing at all strata is one of the key economic barriers for individuals and businesses alike not only in New Brunswick but throughout Canada. The issue is an impediment to the province’s population growth goals and on business’ ability to attract and retain the workers we need to grow. Just last week, an RBC study found that Fredericton and Moncton were amongst the least affordable cities in Canada for young people – one of our key advantages (affordability) has become a liability – one that all levels of government, along with the private and not-for-profit sectors must work together to address.
Rising assessments have led to increases in costs for renters and have acted as a disincentive for new multi-unit construction projects for developers – a recipe for the situation to get exponentially worse. We are encouraged that this new spike protection, combined with the plan outlined in GNB’s 2022-23 budget to begin eliminating the double tax are positive moves that will help alleviate some of the cost burden on landlords and residents.
As New Brunswick continues its economic recovery, the government must continue to look for ways to support the business community, which in turn provides the revenue to the public sector to fund the services that residents need – this is a great step forward in that direction.
Krista Ross, CEO
Fredericton Chamber of Commerce
cc: Hon. Blaine Higgs, Premier, Province of New Brunswick
cc: Jamie Ryan, CEO, NB Real Estate Association
cc: Willy Scholten, President, NB Apartment Owners Association