More than 300,000 Nova Scotia property owners will have a chance to review their proposed 2006 assessment, now that preliminary notices are in the mail. Notices were sent to owners of properties whose assessments are expected to increase by more than three per cent in 2006. The assessments are based on Jan. 1, 2004 market values. “Sending Nova Scotia property owners their proposed assessment in June, means that they can talk to us and get information about their property assessment before the formal assessment notice is sent in January,” said Lloyd MacLellan, regional director for the central regional assessment office. “This year the information will also help property owners decide if they will apply for the 2006 CAP Assessment program.” Introduced in 2005, the CAP Assessment program is designed to help protect property owners from sudden and dramatic increases in market value by placing a limit, or cap, on the amount of taxable assessment increase on eligible properties. To receive a capped assessment, the property must be owned by a Nova Scotia resident and meet certain other eligibility criteria. There are some changes to the program since it was introduced last year. Property owners who applied for the CAP last year and met the residency and ownership requirements will be automatically re-considered for 2006. They do not have to reapply. Owner-occupied condominiums are now part of the CAP program. Owners of condominiums who wish to be considered for a capped assessment must submit an application for the 2006 CAP. With the changes, about 107,000 properties across the province are potentially eligible for a capped assessment in 2006, compared to 65,000 in 2005. Property owners who did not apply to the program in 2005 and whose properties are likely to be eligible are being sent an application form along with their proposed notice. Application forms are available on the website at www.nsassessment.ca or can be picked up at a local regional assessment office, Access Nova Scotia Centre, Registry of Deeds office or municipal tax office. Completed applications must be received by Assessment Services by no later than Sept. 30. “Applications will be reviewed to determine if the property meets the eligibility criteria,” said Mr. MacLellan. “Property owners will be notified if their property qualifies for the CAP when they receive their formal assessment notice in January.” “We encourage property owners to call if they have any questions about their proposed assessment or need further information about the CAP Program,” added Mr. MacLellan. Property owners with questions on their assessment notice can call 1-800-667-5727. For information on property assessment and the CAP program, including eligibility criteria, visit the website at www.nsassessment.ca .