The New Brunswick Real Estate Association wants to make revamping the province's property tax system an issue in the upcoming election campaign.


The New Brunswick Real Estate Association says high taxes on non-owner occupied properties, so-called double taxation, is hurting the province. (Nathan Denette/Canadian Press)

The realtors say high taxes on non-owner occupied properties is driving some people out of the province, and keeping others from returning.

They're calling for a tax credit for non-owner occupied properties, said Robert Stewart, who chairs the association's government relations committee.

"A good example I have right now, I have clients in the Belledune area that are trying to retire here to New Brunswick. They're from Labrador. Basically what's happening is, they can't afford to retire yet. Right now, they're paying higher than the neighbour's tax because they're paying the full taxation, which is called the double taxation, and this isn't allowing them to be able to keep this home," Stewart said.

The association would also like to see incentives for homeowners to invest in New Brunswick businesses, he said.

"We'd like the government to relaunch the home energy enhancement program. That provides homeowners with a $5,000 rebate for investments in things like energy efficient windows, doors, insulating, heating systems, and so forth. But this year, we'd like it as long as the materials are purchased and the work is done by people from New Brunswick," said Stewart.

"I think this would cause spinoff that would help increase investment in the area and again, keep locals working and keep locals here."

The New Brunswick Real Estate Association represents about 900 real estate agents in the province.