Cumberland property assessments see modest growth

Darrell Cole
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Commercial assessments are flat

The latest property assessments are out and they are showing modest growth in Cumberland County.

The latest property assessments are out and they are showing modest growth in Cumberland County. Commercial assessments are flat while residential assessments have continued to grow.

AMHERST – Owning property in Cumberland County is on the rise, but at a slower pace than other years.

Figures released earlier this week by the Property Valuation Services Corporation indicate the cost of owning residential and commercial properties in the county is going up as assessments continue to grow.

However, while residential assessments continue their healthy climb, commercial assessments are relatively flat.

“Commercial assessment is for the most part flat across that part of Nova Scotia,” corporation spokesman Lloyd MacLeod said. “The changes aren’t as dramatic as they have been in other years. Residential property values remains strong, but we’re not seeing any dips or spikes – just modest growth.”

MacLeod said property assessment has grown by $4 billion from 2013, something that can be attributed to market growth and new construction. The total assessment roll across the province has grown to approximately $98.5 billion – including $76.4 billion in residential assessment and $22.1 billion in commercial assessment.

Property assessments are based on market values as of January 2012 and the physical conditions of a property as of Dec. 1, 2013.

In the northwest portion of the province, including municipalities including Cumberland, Colchester, Annapolis, Kings and Hants counties, the total assessment is approximately $18.7 billion. The residential base is $15.2 billion and commercial assessment base is $3.5 billion.

The provincial capped assessment program rate, which is set by the annual increase to the Nova Scotia Consumer Price Index, is 0.9 per cent for 2014.

The Property Valuation Services Corporation mailed 600,000 property assessment notices to Nova Scotia property owners on Monday. The corporation’s website provides property owners with easier access to assessment information.

Property owners are able to use their assessment account number and PIN access number (featured on their assessment notice) to view detailed information on their individual property by accessing their ‘My Property Report’ at

The corporation’s website also features assessment and sales information for all properties in Nova Scotia.

MacLeod is encouraging property owners to review their assessment information and PVSC call centre representatives are available to answer questions at 1-800-380-7775.

The 2014 appeal period is 31 days. Property owners wishing to appeal their assessment have until midnight Feb. 13 to file an appeal.

The appeal must be faxed, mailed or delivered to a PVSC office.

Figures show residential assessment in the Municipality of Cumberland went up 3.76 per cent to $1.7 billion while commercial assessment decreased .05 per cent to $247.1 million – a drop of $123,000 over 2013.

In Amherst, residential assessments were up 2.34 per cent to $49.4 million and commercial assessment was up .06 per cent to $179.9 million, while in Springhill residential assessment climbed .29 per cent to $101.8 million with commercial assessment up 14.84 per cent to $85.1 million. Most of the commercial assessment growth in Springhill is related to renovations to the prison.

In Oxford, residential assessment climbed 2.34 per cent to $49.4 million, with commercial assessment down 4.14 per cent to $42.4 million. The commercial assessment decrease is mostly a result of an adjustment in the assessment to Oxford Frozen Foods.

Parrsboro’s residential climbed 1.55 per cent to $66.8 million. It’s commercial assessment climbed 1.41 per cent to $15.5 million.

Municipalities use the assessment data as part of the process in setting property taxes.

Twitter: @ADNdarrell


Organizations: Property Valuation Services, Oxford Frozen Foods

Geographic location: Nova Scotia, AMHERST, Cumberland County Colchester Annapolis Hants Springhill Oxford

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Recent comments

  • Ron
    January 20, 2014 - 20:10

    The town can talk the talk all it wants to, but so far it hasn't walked the walk. The sheer arrogance of sinking a million+ dollars in an old building just to satisfy a few elected aristocrats while businesses after businesses has folded was enough for us to start packing for better opportunities for us . We are getting out of Dodge before the tumbleweeds pile up. Record taxes, and low birth rate with an aging population. Sayonara small town and the province that is becoming a graveyard

  • Jeff Gunning
    January 15, 2014 - 11:32

    "However, while residential assessments continue their healthy climb, commercial assessments are relatively flat." Since when is higher taxes "healthy?"...and why are taxes that have not risen compared to a broken tire? I Think there is a backwards biased here...You got things a little backwards there.

  • Gerry Bryne
    January 15, 2014 - 11:08

    - 3 cheers for becoming poorer- _____________________________________ People are exiting Amherst for cheaper taxes in the county. And good for them, that's a direct and stinging vote of no confidence in the Town of Amherst track record of "prudent" management. If you keep raising taxes the people will eventually leave to survive the looting. It's called voting with ones feet. Its the only vote that actually matters. It is also these high taxes that are gutting the Amherst economy. It's not that complicated : areas that have the lowest tax rates have the highest rates of business investment and development.

  • Mike Holt
    January 15, 2014 - 09:59

    Modest increase???? My taxes went up 12000 dollars. So the town of Amherst already has some of the highest tax rates in the province and I seem to remember a promise of lowering the cost per dollar of property tax. So let's increase everyone's assessment lower the rate and take in the same amount. My appeal has been filed.