Following the news that many New Brunswick landlords are seeing their property tax assessments increase drastically, the Official Opposition is calling for immediate action from the Higgs Government to address the growing housing crisis.
“In the last few years, the cost of living has skyrocketed, and Government has done nothing to help New Brunswickers keep a roof over their heads” says Roger Melanson, Leader of the Official Opposition.
“Not only is the inflation rate rising faster in New Brunswick than the national average, but the cost of rent is increasing rapidly with many rental units being sold to companies outside the province. A temporary housing boom caused by the pandemic is resulting in significant property assessment increases for homeowners, and now landlords are seeing their property tax assessments spike leaving them with no choice but to increase rent.”
During the pandemic, the provincial government has benefitted from increased federal transfers, reduced operational costs, and increased property tax revenue.
“Government will benefit from a major windfall of property taxes while people are struggling to make ends meet, its heartless to continue padding a surplus when people are suffering” says Roger Melanson. “The Province’s fiscal situation gives them the opportunity to step in and take action on the cost of housing or shelter. They have the means, what seems to be lacking is the will to help.”
With fewer and fewer sitting days, it becomes difficult for the Legislative Assembly to keep the Higgs Government accountable on issues like the cost of housing and shelter.
“We are seeing more and more people unable to afford housing and forced to the streets. Enough is enough, something needs to be done and it cannot wait over a month for the Legislative Assembly to reconvene” says Melanson. “With the emergency measures order in place, it is well within their power to do something quickly and efficiently, yet through their inaction they are instead letting the crisis grow.”