News release

Northern Nova Scotia Property Assessment Notices in the Mail

SERVICE N.S./MUNICIPAL RELATIONS--Northern Nova Scotia Property Assessment Notices in the Mail


More than 565,000 assessment notices are in the mail today, Jan. 12, to Nova Scotia property owners. Provincially, the total value of property assessments in Nova Scotia is up by five per cent to $52.7 billion. The total assessed value of residential properties is up by 6.1 per cent while commercial properties have increased by 2.4 per cent.

In the Northern Region -- which includes municipalities within the boundaries of East Hants, Colchester, Cumberland and Pictou counties -- total residential assessment values are up by 4.1 per cent to just over $5.1 billion. Total commercial assessment increased by 4.6 per cent to nearly $2 billion. The 2004 property assessments are based on market value at Jan. 1, 2002.

"Market value is the most equitable and widely accepted approach to property assessment in North America. Every province in Canada and more than 120 other countries around the world use market value as a standard for property assessment," said Terry Hartling, regional manager of the Northern Regional Assessment Office.
"The market value is easily understood by most property owners. It is determined by the buyers and sellers of the real estate market. That makes it easy for property owners to test fairness because they can compare their assessment to sales of similar properties. It also means that the same appraisal standards and principles can be applied to all residential properties across Nova Scotia," said Mr. Hartling.

Each year the assessment services division reassesses all properties within Nova Scotia to establish an estimate of fairmarket value. Factors used to determine assessments include analysis of sales and building permits, local market conditions, depreciation, renovations and new construction. Values are then tested for statistical validity using internationally accepted assessment standards.

In response to feedback received from Nova Scotia property owners, the assessment services division has added a new service to its website. Residential property owners can now obtain detailed information about their property by entering a personal identification number (PIN) and their assessment account number (AAN) at www.nsassessment.ca . The PIN and AAN are printed on individual assessment notices.

"Not everyone has Internet access, so property owners can also get that information and answers to their assessment questions by calling our toll-free number at 1-800-667-5727," 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. 2. Once an appeal is received, an assessor will review the property valuation and then notify the property owner with the result of the review.

FOR BROADCAST USE:

More than 565-thousand assessment notices are in the mail today, (January 12th) to Nova Scotia property owners.

In the Northern Region, total residential assessment values are up by four per cent to just over five-point-one-billion dollars. Total commercial assessment increased by almost five per cent to nearly two billion dollars. The 2004 property assessments are based on market value at January 1st, 2002.

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Contact:

Terry Hartling
Northern Regional Assessment Office 902-893-5389 E-mail: