More than 537,000 assessment notices are in the mail today, Jan.
13, to Nova Scotia property owners. Total property assessments
for Nova Scotia are up from 2002 by 5.5 per cent for residential
properties and by two per cent for commercial properties, to a
total of $50.3 billion.
"The increase in many residential property values is a reflection
of a strengthening economy, and the corresponding strengthening
real estate market in many parts of the province," said Peter
Christie, Minister of Service Nova Scotia and Municipal
The minister said the numbers reflect an increase in what buyers
have been paying for existing residential properties as well as
new home construction.
In the Western Region of Nova Scotia, which includes Hants West,
Kings, Annapolis and Digby counties, total residential assessment
values are up by 2.5 per cent to more than $4 billion. Total
commercial assessment is up by 2.8 per cent to almost $1.4
billion. The 2003 property assessments are based on market value
at Jan. 1, 2001.
"Market value is the most widely accepted and understood approach
to property assessment. Every province in Canada uses the market
value system as do most assessment jurisdictions in the United
States and 127 other countries," said Debi Karrel, regional
manager for the Western Regional Assessment Office.
"The market value approach to assessment is popular because it is
the most equitable system of property assessment available. Under
this approach, property values are determined objectively and
transparently and they're easily understood," she said.
Each year, the assessment services division reassesses all
properties in Nova Scotia to establish an estimate of fair-market
value. Factors used to determine assessments include analysis of
sales, building permits, local market conditions, depreciation,
renovations and new construction. Values are tested for
statistical validity using internationally accepted assessment
Property owners wanting to know more about assessment can access
information through the department's Web site at www.gov.ns.ca/snsmr/asmt
"People can look up assessed values by their assessment account
number, by location or by using a map," said Ms. Karrel. "Not
everyone has Internet access, so property owners can also get
answers to their assessment questions by calling our toll-free
number at 1-800-667-5727."
Many property owners won't be surprised by their assessment
notice. Last summer, preliminary notices were mailed to all
property owners whose proposed assessment for 2003 was expected
to increase by more than three per cent.
"Sending out the preliminary notices gave property owners a six-
month period during which they could speak with us informally
about their assessment. We had almost 5,000 inquiries from across
Nova Scotia," said Ms. Karrel.
Property owners who disagree with their assessment have the
opportunity to appeal.
"Property owners should ask themselves if their assessment is a
reflection of market value," said Ms. Karrel. "If they don't
think it is, they may appeal."
All appeals must be filed no later than midnight, Feb. 3. Once an
appeal is received, an assessor will review the property
valuation and then notify the property owner with the result of
the review. Property owners who wish to continue the appeal to
the Regional Assessment Appeal Court must respond to the review
notice in writing within seven days.
FOR BROADCAST USE:
Assessment notices are in the mail to Nova Scotia property
owners today (January 13th).
Residential property assessments are up five-and-a-half
per cent across the province. Commercial properties are up two
Peter Christie, Minister of Service Nova Scotia and
Municipal Relations, said the growth in assessments reflects the
province's strengthening economy and a strong real estate market
in many parts of Nova Scotia.
Property owners who disagree with their assessment have
until February 3rd to appeal.
Contact: Debi Karrel
Western Regional Assessment Office
amc January 13, 2003 1:26 P.M.