Municipal Affairs and Environment

Frequently Asked Questions

What is a base date?

  • It is important that all properties are assessed at the same point in time. This ensures all values are set using the same market conditions. For this reason, a particular date is set and all properties are assessed as of that date.
  • The base date for the 2016 assessments was January 1, 2014.

My assessment seems wrong - what do I do?

  • First, review your assessment notice and call the assessment division or agency to discuss your property file.
  • If you are unhappy, you may pay a fee and file an appeal, in writing, within 30 days (from the date you received your assessment) either to the MAA or the City of St. John’s.
    • The MAA will undertake a reconsideration of your assessment. If you are still unhappy with your reconsideration, you may continue to the next step of the appeal process. In the City of St. John’s there is no reconsideration step.
  • A commissioner, appointed by the municipality, will hear your appeal and decide the matter.

My commercial property has a much higher mill rate than my residential property even though they use the same services. Is this allowed?

  • A municipality has the authority to set two real property mill rates, one for commercial and one for residential. It is within the council’s discretion to set what those rates will be.

My municipality has a minimum tax rate for vacant land. What does that mean?

  • Municipalities can set minimum tax rates. If your property tax calculation falls below the minimum, it will be taxed the higher fixed value.

Will my property tax bill change after the Assessment Act, 2006 review?

  • Regardless of changes to the Assessment Act, 2006, municipalities will still be able to set mill rates at their discretion, which ultimately determines your property tax bill.

Are there any tax exemptions available for exceptional situations?

  • Businesses or individuals can apply to their municipality under section 111 of the Municipalities Act, 1999 for an exemption or variation of their tax – two-thirds vote of council is required.
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