News release

Southern Nova Scotia Property Assesment Notices in the Mail

SERVICE N.S./MUNICIPAL RELATIONS--Southern 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 Southern Region of Nova Scotia -- which includes municipalities within the boundaries of Lunenburg, Queens, Shelburne and Yarmouth counties -- total residential assessment values are up by 8.4 per cent to nearly $4.9 billion. Total commercial assessment increased by 3.8 per cent to almost $1.5 billion. The 2004 property assessments are based on market value at Jan. 1, 2002.

"The South Shore of Nova Scotia continues to experience a strong real estate market, which helps explains why assessment is increasing in this region. 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 Debi Karrel, acting regional manager of the Southern Regional Assessment Office.
"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 Ms. Karrel.

Each year the assessment services division reassesses all properties in Nova Scotia to establish an estimate of fair market value. Factors used to determine property 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, assessment services 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 their assessment notice.

"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 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. 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 Southern Region of Nova Scotia, total residential assessment values are up by eight per cent to nearly four-point- nine-billion dollars. Total commercial assessment increased by about four per cent to almost one-point-five-billion dollars. The 2004 property assessments are based on market value at January 1st, 2002.

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Contact:

Debi Karrel
Southern Regional Assessment Office 902-527-5361 E-mail: