Resolution: Capped Assessment Program (CAP)
WHEREAS the CAP program distorts the property tax system; and
WHEREAS it is not clear the homeowners most in need of property tax relief are the ones benefitting from the CAP program; and
WHEREAS municipalities are willing to offer pilot programs that will continue to meet the original objectives of the CAP program though a different approach; and
WHEREAS pilot programs can be evaluated to determine intended and unintended impacts of changes; and
WHEREAS a study on Municipal Property Taxation in Nova Scotia, by academic experts Harry Kitchen and Enid Slack recommended a phase-out of the CAP program;
THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED the Province work with municipalities and other stakeholders to phase out the CAP program and provide better alternatives to protect low-income homeowners and those experiencing significant increases in residential property assessments; and
FURTHER BE IT RESOLVED that the Province enable pilot projects to be undertaken as soon as possible.
Further Information and Current Progress:
On January 29, 2020, NSFM's proposal to phase out the CAP was introduced to an All-Party Committee . The committee, chaired by NSFM President Pam Mood, includes Keith Irving (Liberal MLA), Tim Houston (Conservative Leader) and Gary Burrill (NDP Leader), along with Department of Municipal Affairs critics Elizabeth Smith-McCrossin (Conservative) and Lisa Roberts (NDP).
In December, 2020, NSFM launched the CAP Map Interactive Tool, designed to help familiarize ratepayers with the effects of the CAP on tax rates. It also features an in-depth analysis of the CAP by MountainMath Software and Analytics, the developers of the tool.
Since the release of the CAP Map tool, attempts to reconvene the Committee have stalled, despite pressure from NSFM to continue movement on the issue.
For further reading on the Capped Assessment Program, please visit the CAP Archive