Rothesay — An entire street of homeowners in Rothesay have found a novel way to avoid future property tax hikes: they are all going to change their names.
More specifically, all 13 homeowners of Willow Crescent, as well as their children, have applied en masse to change their names to Irving.
“It seemed obvious,” said Edward Stewart, who has applied to change his name to John David Irving. “It seems the only people who don’t have to face massive property tax increases are the Irving family.”
“We thought of changing our name to Canaport,” said Edward’s wife, Colleen, who has applied to change her name to Janice Delores Irving. “But we thought that was a bit of a risk, because we can’t afford to have a big-name company lobby on our behalf.”
The idea was the brainchild of Harold Emery, who has applied to change his name to Jasper Donald Irving.
Emery, 34, who saw a massive spike in property taxes, is one of many New Brunswick residents upset that Irving properties seem to receive special treatment from the government. Earlier this month, Canaport LNG — an Irving-owned property — received a 66 percent decrease in assessment, representing $5.5 million in savings.
His wife, Wanda (soon to be Jolene Denise Irving) is pregnant with the couple’s second child. The couple have already chosen names for the yet-born babe, Julien Dirk for a boy, or Jesseca Dorothy for a girl.
“We hope our children can now afford to live in the province, when they grow to adult age,” said Emery.
The group also plans to lobby Rothesay Council to rename the street “Irving Way,” in hopes the province will offer them similar massive tax concessions to those given a certain family of similar name.
The process should be complete in six weeks according to Stewart, but is not without cost, so the group has started a GoFundMe page seeking support from the general public to cover legal costs.
Asked if any feel guilty at asking for public funding in order to escape future tax loads, Edward shrugged.
“It’s the way things are done in the province, and now that we’re going to be Irvings, we may as well take the public’s money too.”