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Joint statement from the Mayors in the Tri-Cities Partnership


Joint statement from the Mayors in the Tri-Cities Partnership

Issued on behalf of Mayor Dawn Arnold, City of Moncton, 
Mayor Don Darling, City of Saint John and Mayor Michael O’Brien, City of Fredericton

We appreciate the effort by the Province to try and address some of the difficulty that has been created for municipalities by the property assessment freeze.  However, this policy decision is at its core an example of the Province deferring their responsibility regarding property tax assessments and transferring immediate impacts to municipalities.  Under the current system, municipalities have limited means to generate revenue and create predictability.

Due to the wide reach of assessment freeze impacts, the assistance offer should benefit all communities and not be delivered on a case-by-case basis.

Local governments need clarity and certainty to prepare for their upcoming budget preparations. All municipalities in New Brunswick will have to make difficult decisions during the 2018 budget process. And, in fact, there is a fear that such a freeze will extend beyond the next fiscal year, further eroding budget capacity. 

Revenue predictability is needed so municipalities can maintain a long-term view on financial capacity and plan for service adjustments and investments in infrastructure while grappling with rising costs like public safety wages awarded through arbitrated settlements, which cannot be covered without escalating revenues. 
A stronger dialogue between the Province and its municipalities on issues as significant as the assessment freeze and the new governance model for real property assessment is imperative.
The City of Saint John has conducted a taxation fairness study. The study has been shared with the provincial government, the cities of Moncton and Fredericton as well as the various municipal associations across the province. The findings in the study have ramifications for all municipalities in the Province, including the ability to raise revenues and exert more control over taxes collected.

The mayors of the New Brunswick’s three largest cities signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) on September 12, 2017 as formal gesture of alignment and cooperation on matters of mutual interest.


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