Every week, Mansion Global poses a tax question to real estate tax attorneys. Here is this week’s question.
Q: We are Americans and own a home in Chamcook, New Brunswick, in Canada. We don’t live there more than six months a year, yet we pay double taxes on the home. It is waterfront property and we pay still more than we might if we had only a water view. Can you tell me what the difference is in taxes between waterfront and waterview?
A: There aren’t any special levies or taxes for waterfront homes, according to Owen Burns, an attorney at Wilbur Law Offices in Riverview, New Brunswick.
“But, generally speaking, waterfront properties are worth more and so assessed at a higher rate,” he said. Property taxes in New Brunswick are based on the market value of a property, so if it “is worth more, the taxes go up.”
Glen Larsen of Glen J. Larsen Law Offices in St. George, New Brunswick, agreed that a waterfront home is likely to be assessed at a higher rate, as “water view can be quite far from the water.”
Second-home owners in New Brunswick do pay twice as much in taxes, though, Mr. Larsen said.
For residents whose property is their primary home, they receive a “provincial residential property tax credit,” which exempts them from paying any provincial property tax, according to the government’s Service New Brunswick website. Without the credit, the tax bill would be twice as much, as is the case for second-home owners.
But most homeowners shouldn’t see a rise in property taxes this year; an assessment freeze is in place for 2018. That applies to both primary and secondary residences.
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