Saint John developer wins tax appeal

A Saint John developer is paying less tax this year after successfully appealing his 2014 assessments on five properties.

Doug Robinson calls system 'arbitrary and unfair'

Saint John developer Doug Robinson won his appeal of the 2014 tax assessment of 84 Anchorage Ave. (Google)
A Saint John developer is paying less tax this year after successfully appealing his 2014 assessments on five properties.

Doug Robinson challenged the bills he received on a commercial office building, homes and vacant lots.

He says the assessments on two lots in the same subdivision were raised from $42,000 to $70,000.

"We appealed them and they came back down to about $42,000," Robinson said.

"One property they raised to $110,000, we appealed it and they came down to $66,000. Then there's an office, commercial building that we saved approximately $2,000 in taxes after we appealed their assessment." 

Robinson says the fact he was successful is proof that New Brunswick's property tax system is founded on shaky ground.

"I don't know of any other business that says something is worth $70,000 and you appeal it and they drop it to $42,000." 

I don't know of any other business that says something is worth $70,000 and you appeal it and they drop it to $42,000.- Doug Robinson, developer

Further evidence of specious assessments is the fact that similar properties side-by-side can be looked at differently said Robinson. 

"We all want to pay what we feel is a fair rate, but I don't think that someone next door that's paying $4,000 more and getting the same service is a fair system." 

Tax bills are mailed out at the beginning of March each year and property owners have 30-days from the date of mailing to appeal their assessment.

If a citizen is unhappy with the result of their appeal to Service New Brunswick, a grievance may be filed with the Assessment and Planning Appeal Board, and ultimately with the New Brunswick Court of Queen's Bench.

New Brunswick assessments are supposed to reflect market value, which is the price someone would be willing to pay if the property was offered for sale. 

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