More than 537,000 assessment notices are in the mail today to
Nova Scotia property owners. Provincially, total property
assessments are up by 5.5 percent for residential properties and
by two percent for commercial properties, to a total of $50.3
"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 Northern Region, which includes Hants East, Pictou,
Colchester and Cumberland counties, total residential assessment
values are up by 4.1 per cent, to $4.9 billion. Total commercial
assessment is down by 2.4 per cent in the Northern Region to
almost $1.9 billion, reflecting an adjustment in the valuation of
pipelines resulting from a new provincial regulation. 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 Terry Hartling, regional
manager for the Northern 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," he 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 now
access information through the department's Web site atwww.gov.ns.ca/snsmr/asmt
"People can look up assessed values by their assessment account
number, by location or by using a map. 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," said Mr. Hartling.
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 proposed 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 Mr. Hartling.
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 Mr. Hartling. "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 per
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: Terry Hartling
Northern Regional Assessment Office
kjd January 13, 2003 1:41 P.M.