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Councillor Urges Residents to Protest Property Assessments
(Thursday, January 18/2001)-- District 13 Councillor Sue Uteck is urging her constituents to appeal their assessment notices and flood the provincial Assessment Department's telephone lines with calls to protest inequities in the current system.
Councillor Uteck said the province's property assessment system is "blatantly unfair" and the attitude of of the Assessment Department is "appalling." She claimed that one of her constituents was asked by a provincial Assessor, who had spotted a tennis racket in her home, "if she belonged to the Waegwaltic Club, and where her kids go to university?"
The Councillor said "Assessments make no distinction between a rental property with an income, and the single family home located next door to it. The current system makes no exceptions for those older areas of peninsular Halifax that are being in-filled with larger, more expensive homes."
"This is not an issue of market value-- it is the right to stay in your home for many seniors and other homeowners. They (provincial assessors) are pricing my District (Northwest Arm/South End) out of range for students and young families starting out, she added.
Councillor Uteck said District 13 properties are being assessed higher and higher values each year, but the infrastructure is not keeping pace and area residents have to put up with "crumbling school buildings and streets and roads badly in need of repair" on a daily basis.
"If they (the Assessment Department) want a Tea Party in the harbour( referring to the Boston Tea Party and taxation without representation), they just got one!" the Councillor said.
The telephone number of the Halifax Office of the Nova Scotia Assessment Department is 424-5225.
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Councillor Sue Uteck