News Release Archive

The Nova Scotia Department of Housing and Municipal Affairs will
mail 1997 assessment notices on Tuesday, Jan. 14. The assessed
value received by property owners this month should be unchanged
from that received in the summer, unless improvements were made
to the property or adjustments were made as a result of
consultations with an assessor.

"This year we are starting to assess all properties every year in
response to requests from municipalities, the business community
and some residential property owners," said John MacKay,
executive director of assessment services.

"Annual assessments are part of a government-wide effort to
improve service -- they will result in greater accuracy and
smaller annual shifts in assessed values," Mr. MacKay said.

To facilitate the shift to annual assessments, the department
provided each property owner with a proposed notice of assessment
in July of last year. Property owners who did not agree with the
proposed assessment, were encouraged to call their local
assessment office. In some cases, new data was collected and
inaccuracies were identified and corrected. In other cases,
discussions led to clients having a more complete understanding
of how assessments are determined.

As a result of this consultative process, 2.5 per cent of the
total number province-wide of property assessments were changed.
These changes are reflected in the formal 1997 assessment notices
property owners will receive this month. Mr. MacKay said he is
encouraged by this response to the proposed assessments. In part,
it reflects the quality of the work performed while providing a
means of consistently improving the accuracy of the department's
information, he said.

Under provincial legislation, ratepayers who disagree with their
assessments must file a notice of appeal within 21 days of the
date on the assessment notice. Ratepayers should be aware that
the assessment notice is not a tax bill. The Department of
Housing and Municipal Affairs is responsible for assessing
property, with municipalities responsible for determining how
much to spend and how much they will require to collect in taxes.

Ratepayers can contact their local assessment office -- the
address and telephone numbers are included on each assessment
notice -- for further information. Phone calls will be routed
through a provincial assessment information call centre which the
Department of Housing and Municipal Affairs established "to
manage ratepayers' calls efficiently and enhance customer service
levels," Mr. MacKay said.


Contact: Michelle Whelan  902-424-6336

         John MacKay      902-424-5671

trp                    Jan. 10, 1997 - 2 p.m.