An Oromocto area woman is being taxed by the province on a family burial plot overlooking French Lake, south of Fredericton.
Shirley Caseley's mother, father, and several other relatives are buried in the cemetery. The land has been in the Caseley family since 1942.
'It's just the whole principle of the matter, that's all. It's not the money...it's just the principle that they're charging cemetery plots and I just don't think it's right'—Shirley Caseley
After Caseley updated the deed in 2006 she started receiving tax bills on the small lot that measures 4.5 metres by 18 metres. Caseley thought it was strange but said when she questioned tax officials she was told those were the rules.
"I was told it was a plot of land and everyone's taxed on a plot of land," she said. "This spring I went into the assessment office to inquire and I was told that again, it's a plot of land and everybody's taxed on a piece of land."
At the top of Caseley's tax bill from the province, under the heading property description, it reads "family cemetery".
In the New Brunswick assessment act, cemeteries are exempt from property tax.
New Brunswick Finance Minister Blaine Higgs said he was surprised to hear about Caseley's situation and he expects she would qualify for a refund.
"There is a tax appeal process and I would suggest that that's what she would follow and certainly the rules would apply against the burial plot and how that would be taxed because I don't think there is any tax on a burial plot," said Higgs.
Caseley said so far she's paid about $5 per year in taxes, totalling about $25.
"It's just the whole principle of the matter, that's all. It's not the money...it's just the principle that they're charging cemetery plots and I just don't think it's right," said Caseley.