Commercial property owners in New Brunswick can expect property tax relief in step with multifamily landlords. However, neither group of ratepayers will enjoy the outcome of this week’s provincial announcements until 2021.
In introducing the 2020-21 budget, Finance and Treasury Board Minister Ernie Steeves reiterated a yet-to-be-delivered pledge to begin curbing New Brunswick’s dual municipal-provincial taxation of non-owner-occupied housing next year, then made a similar property tax relief promise to commercial ratepayers.
The non-residential property rate will be cut by 15 per cent in phased increments over four years. The first discount of 8.25 cents per $100 of assessed value is slated for 2021. The current rate of $2.186 per $100 of assessment will drop to $1.856 per $100 of assessment by 2024.
“We have heard from the business community that there is a need to address the high tax burden and cost pressures it faces,” Steeves told the New Brunswick legislative assembly. “While there were a variety of measures that we could take, we have chosen to lower the provincial non-residential property tax rate.”
Meanwhile, residential landlords were first promised a 50 per cent reduction of the current property tax rate — set at $1.1233 per $100 of assessed values —in 2018, but with the understanding that it would not begin to occur until 2021, nor fully unfold until 2024. Next year’s first phase will trim 14.04 cents per $100 in assessment from property tax bills.
“A longstanding criticism of New Brunswick’s provincial property tax system is often referred to as the double-taxation of residential non-owner-occupied housing,” Steeves said. “The combined effect of municipal and provincial taxes results in a comparatively higher overall property tax burden.”