AMHERST – Nova Scotians will now have more information about their property assessments through free online access to sales data from the Property Valuation Services Corporation beginning Monday.
Previously, sales information used for property assessments was not broadly available to the public and only provided to owners who appealed a property assessment.
"Nova Scotians want easy access to property sales data and this change ensures they have that access in an efficient manner," Service Nova Scotia and Municipal Relations Minister John MacDonell said in a news release. "It will help property owners make more informed decisions about their assessment, and bring clarity, improved efficiency and greater transparency to the assessment appeal process."
Property sales data on comparable properties from July 2010 will be available online at pvsc.ca.
"We believe the improved PVSC website will provide property owners with the information they need when reviewing their property assessment," said Russell Walker, chair, PVSC board of directors.
Property sales data is used for property assessment purposes. Making this information more easily available will allow property owners to make informed decisions about whether or not to appeal their property assessment based upon market values.
The Nova Scotia Association of Realtors is pleased to see these changes to assessment appeals and access to information.
"These changes will empower the public with essential details, when they are buying and selling a home, and if they need to appeal an assessment," said Nova Scotia Association of Realtors president Wayne MacIntosh. "With access to property sales information and guidance from real estate professionals, property owners will better understand the real estate market, and that's great news."
Nova Scotia property assessment notices for 2013 will be mailed out the week of Jan. 14.
Service Nova Scotia and Municipal Relations amended the Municipal Government Act in the spring of 2012 to allow for the disclosure of property sales prices and related information to the public.
The Assessment Act was also amended to extend the property assessment appeal period from 21 days to 31 days, change the name of the Regional Assessment Appeal Court to the Nova Scotia Assessment Appeal Tribunal and clarify its authority. These changes went into effect Jan. 1.