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History of Minutes
Meeting Minutes - May 25, 2011
The CBRM Property Taxpayers Association
A general meeting of the CBRM Property Taxpayers’ Association convened on Wednesday May 25, 2011 at the Army, Navy and Air Force Hall in New Waterford.
The objective of these town hall meetings is to educate all property taxpayer owners on the affects of removing the CAP immediately without fixing the problem that caused the CAP to be put in place, that being property assessments and that for the past 6 years neither the Provincial Government nor UNSM has done anything to address the problem.
It’s very apparent that some taxpayers’ don’t have a proper understanding of their Market and CAP property assessment notice. Also their not aware of the Union of Nova Scotia Municipalities (UNSM) attempt to remove the CAP. This presentation endeavors to clarify all concerns.
Our chairman explained that the CAP started in 2005 at the rate of 10%. This was changed in 2008 to CPI (consumer price index). The CAP rate for 2011 is 2.9%. It was also stressed that property assessments are Capped while the Market value assessment is UNCAPPED. He went on to explain that there are two assessment values on a property owners assessment notice. It was also noted to all that it is the Municipality who sets the tax rate for the region.
To calculate your cost: The CAPPED assessments x tax rate = Property Tax. If the CAP is removed the Municipality will use the Market Value to calculate one’s property taxes. I.e. market value assessment x tax rate = Property Tax.
Jerry Gillis from the board of directors for CBRM Property Taxpayers’ Association briefed on the contents and outcomes of the following three key meetings and reviews which took place during the previous several months.
CAP Review 2010 Municipal Discussions Sessions Report;
Meeting with Minister MacDonnell; and
John MacKinnon’s presentation to CBRM on April 2011.
With respect to the CAP Review, Jerry Gillis highlighted some of the shortfalls in the Report and stated that a letter addressing the CBRMs Taxpayers’ association was prepared and forwarded to all concerned.
Similarly, the meeting with Minister MacDonnell was used to outline the purpose of the CBRM Property Taxpayers’ association and to express concerns regarding the removal of the CAP prior to the adoption of a “fairer, more equitable and more uniform” property tax assessment structure. The meeting was considered highly productive. Finally, Jerry Gillis summarized the contents of Mr. John’s MacKinnon’s presentation to Council on April 5, 2011 which was designed to get Council on side for ending the CAP. Work is ongoing to validate the contents of Mr. MacKinnon’ presentation.
Dannie Gillis also from the board of directors for CBRM Property Taxpayers’ Association communicated the contents of the following meeting and review which took place during the months of March and April.
Comments on Mr. MacKinnon Presentation;
Meeting with Property Valuation Services. (PVSC)
With reverence to the MacKinnon presentation, Dannie Gillis touched on some of the discrepancies (in the eyes’ of the CBRM PTA Executive) in the presentation; i.e. MacKinnon states in one slide that the Market and Capped values of homes decreased in consecutive years of 2008 and 2009 from those in 2007, which is a mathematical impossibility because the assessments went up and the tax rate stayed the same for those years; therefore all assessments went up. There were other issues that lacked accountability. The CBRM PTA has requested a meeting with the authors of this presentation to clarify our concerns.
In regards to our meeting with Property Valuation Services Corporation (PVSC) on April 28, 2011 we’ve asked for more data so that our study is more transparent. Once this is complete we’ll communicate the results.
As stated in previous town hall meeting, the Chair summarized actions that the association believes are critical to the future of the CBRM. They included;
- The Need for stronger Leadership from Elected Officials.
- Greater Cost Reduction/Productivity Improvements.
- A Freeze on Hiring and Major Projects.
- A forensic look for other ways to reduce costs.
During the question and answer period, the following questions were posed.
Who do I get in touch with to appeal my property assessment?
Why does CBRM want to remove the CAP?
Why does the CBRM pay 1.4.millon dollars a year to PVSC to handle assessments? Couldn’t this be done by CBRM?
How is the CBRM PTA progressing?
In closing the Chairman thanked everyone for attending and emphasized that while the Executive is working on their behalf, that it cannot do everything themselves and needed the assistance of all concerned taxpayer’s to discuss the issues with their extended family, friends and neighbors. As well, individual concerns should also be relayed to their respective Councilors and MLAs.
The meeting was adjourned at 8:45 p.m.