News release

Province to Help Municipalities Affected by Nova Scotia Power Reassessment

NOTE: A fact sheet on this topic is available at www.gov.ns.ca/snsmr/muns/pdf/NSPI-Q&A.pdf

Government has announced a four-year plan to help municipalities affected by the recent reassessment of Nova Scotia Power's assets by the Property Valuation Services Corporation.

The reassessment, which redistributes a portion of Nova Scotia Power's payment in lieu of taxes, was the result of a request from the Union of Nova Scotia Municipalities.

"We recognize and appreciate that certain municipalities will be negatively affected by the recent reassessment of Nova Scotia Power's assets," said Richard Hurlburt, Minister of Service Nova Scotia and Municipal Relations. "After meeting with the Union of Nova Scotia Municipalities and several of its members, we have determined that this is the most balanced way to address the needs of municipalities in the province."

Instead of immediately implementing the distribution changes, the province will freeze this year's payment to municipalities at the 2008-09 amount. Municipalities slated to receive an increase in revenue as a result of the reassessment will receive a one-time payment to help ease the transition.

The new assessment will be phased in over the course of the following three years.

Three municipalities most affected by the reassessment said the steps taken by the province balance the needs of all municipalities.

"We're very pleased with the minister's quick response and see this as an acceptable compromise," said Phillip Robert, Mayor of Annapolis Royal. "This arrangement gives us time to plan and prepare to meet the needs of our citizens now and for the future."

Mayor John Leefe of the Region of Queens Municipality agrees the decision gives municipalities an opportunity to prepare.

"This decision by Minister Hurlburt, on behalf of the provincial government, is welcome news, indeed," said Mr. Leefe. "We now have time to manage our way through this difficult adjustment in our assessment."

Bruce Morrison, Warden of the Municipality of the County of Victoria, also supports the steps government has taken.

"The County of Victoria council is pleased that the province met with municipalities and found a solution that's fair for everyone," said Mr. Morrison. "This arrangement ensures that Victoria's payment will reflect its assessments going forward."

Property Valuation Services Corporation is a municipally controlled agency responsible for property assessments in Nova Scotia.

FOR BROADCAST USE:

Government has announced a four-year plan to help municipalities affected by the recent reassessment of Nova Scotia Power's assets by the Property Valuation Services Corporation.

The province has decided to freeze this year's payment to municipalities at the 2008-09 amount. Municipalities slated to receive an increase in revenue as a result of the reassessment will receive a one-time payment to help ease the transition.

The new assessment will be phased in over the following three years.

Property Valuation Services Corporation made the reassessment after a request from the Union of Nova Scotia Municipalities.

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Media Contact:

Brian Taylor
Service Nova Scotia and Municipal Relations 902-424-2733 Cell: 902-220-1727 E-mail: