PEI Treasurer replied the new process is fairer and more transparent
In PEI Legislature Question Period today, Opposition Leader Olive Crane called the new property tax scheme a “tax grab by the government.”
Treasurer Wes Sheridan replied that the system works on a small differential between the appraised value of properties and the market value. The government has tried to keep those two values within 4%
Everyone know their appraised value, he said. It is printed on their tax bill. When the property is sold is when the market value is known.
Sheridan said that amount was not disclosed in the past and Islanders can welcome the transparency in the process.
Sheridan said that there will likely be no change in bills in the spring of 2010 since the CPI is negative.
Crane asked the minister to explain “scientifically” how a young couple, a first time buyer, will be able to afford a home.
Sheridan gave an actual example of a house on Union Road where the assessment was $137,000 and the marker value was $142,000 a difference of 3.2%. The actual difference in the annual tax bill will be $49 a year.
Sheridan failed to disclose if the difference would be greater as years went on.
When the bill was tabled for 2nd reading in the Legislature later in the day, Crane asked that it be tabled until it has gone public consultation. Crane said her phone was ringing off the wall with upset taxpayers.
Jim Bagnall seconded her motion to put it to public consultation. He said they had no time to comment. Bagnall said home owners were upset and real estate agents were upset.
If the bill is as good as he says it is, public consultation will only show that, said Bagnall. He accused the government of being sneaky.
The bill passed second reading with government support.