New Brunswick — After New Brunswickers saw Service New Brunswick retract property assessments for J.D. Irving Ltd., many in the Picture Province realized that the key to getting a better tax rate lies in having connections with the rich Irving family. Residents are now overwhelming SNB with name change requests, creating a three-week backlog.
“I used to only have to answer three emails and call it a day, but now I’m getting hundreds by the hour!” said 54-year-old SNB employee Breta Jenkins. “I still only answer a few of them because I’m just so busy, and it takes a while to type my generic response in the subject line of the email.”
In recent years, New Brunswick landowners saw property tax increases as the value of houses went up and SNB assessed them higher as well. The tax collected is used to increase the government budget; however, landowners are given the opportunity to appeal the assessment. Economists suggest that if Irving were properly taxed, the income to New Brunswick would turn the province into a utopia.
“We almost had ’em this year. If SNB weren’t in the Irvings’ pockets, maybe New Brunswick would have had a lot more money to work with,” said Gordon McAllister, a financial advisor in Moncton. “Now with everyone and their dog changing their name to Irving and getting their appeals approved, the province is actually losing more money than ever before!”
Premier Blaine Higgs issued a statement imploring New Brunswickers not to “game the system” by changing their names and confusing his Service New Brunswick employees.
“These poor SNB workers aren’t the brightest bunch, and they’ve been told to approve anything with the name Irving on it,” said Higgs. “You can’t really give them more than one direction in a year or they’ll become overwhelmed and get nothing done, so please just pay your taxes normally this year, and maybe next year we can look at a different system.”
At press time, Service New Brunswick employees themselves were standing in their own hour-long lines, awaiting their numbers to be called to change their surnames to Irving too.