Fredericton – David Coon, Leader of the Green party of New Brunswick and MLA for Fredericton South started the legislative session by tabling a bill to restore some fairness to property tax assessments.
If adopted, Coon’s bill to amend the Assessment Act would remove the exemption for crude oil storage tanks, as well as for industrial machinery and equipment in heavy industry.
“The exemption for crude oil storage tanks was created in response to the 1979 oil crisis, which ended decades ago,” said Coon. “And a recent report prepared for the Saint John Common Council indicated that removing exemptions for heavy industry on machinery and equipment would ensure it pays its fair share of property taxes.
“For example, property tax revenue from heavy industry in Saint John represents only 8% of its tax base. The Saint John Regional Hospital pays almost twice the property tax paid by the refinery. The McAllister Mall pays far more property tax than the Irving pulp and paper mill. The Conference Board of Canada found that New Brunswick has one of lowest burdens of net business taxes in the country,” said Coon