Assessment notices are in the mail today, Feb. 7, to Nova Scotia property owners. In Halifax Regional Municipality, the value of residential property assessments is more than $23 billion, an increase of 10 per cent from 2006. Commercial property assessments totalled almost $8 billion, an increase of almost 8.5 per cent. “These assessments reflect a continuing increase in residential property values throughout HRM,” said Lloyd MacLellan, regional manager of the central assessment office. “The commercial increase can be explained partially because of increased commercial property values, and new commercial construction.” Property assessment notices for most residential properties will include a personal identification number along with the assessment account number. By entering this information on the assessment website, www.nsassessment.ca, owners can look up assessment information about their property. Those without Internet access can obtain the information and answers to assessment questions by calling 1-800-667-5727. Property owners may appeal the market-value assessment if they do not believe their assessment is a reasonable estimate of market value as of Jan. 1, 2005. To appeal, the form on the bottom of the assessment notice must be filled out and returned to the regional assessment office by midnight Wednesday, Feb. 28. Property owners cannot appeal the capped assessment. Residential property owners who have applied for the 2007 CAP program will know if they received the cap when they get their assessment notice. If they see a value in the capped-value section of their notice, they will be taxed on that value. The CAP rate for the 2007-2008 tax year was set by the province at 10 per cent. Applications for the CAP program for the 2007-2008 tax year were due Sept. 30, 2006. Beginning with the 2008-2009 tax year, the CAP rate will be set at Nova Scotia’s Consumer Price Index. Applications for the CAP program for the 2008-2009 tax year are due Sept. 30. They are available at any assessment office or on-line at www.gov.ns.ca/snsmr/asmt/cap/.