Ryder's driveway: Service NB admits property tax error

A public outcry over a $50,900 property assessment increase imposed on a Quispamsis family after a children's charity paved their driveway to help their son has been resolved.

Tyler McIntyre says Service New Brunswick called his wife Monday to acknowledge a mistake caused the increase and assured her more than 90 per cent of it will be retracted.

"We received a personal phone call from Hampton Service NB to apologize for our situation and that error with our property tax," McIntyre told CBC News. "It has been corrected."

McIntyre said his property assessment has still gone up but only by $4,000.

Last year McIntyre's seven-year-old son Ryder, who has cerebral palsy, was given a new $8,500 paved driveway by President's Choice Children's Charity.

The gift was so Ryder could play in his yard and independently catch the school bus using his mobile walker.

But then last month his parents received a notice their property assessment and tax bill were both jumping 25 per cent. It's not legal in New Brunswick to raise a residential property tax bill more than 10 per cent in one year unless there have been substantial renovations.

Paving a driveway does not normally allow for that protection to be voided, but the McIntyre's were hit with a big tax increase anyway.

They were among 2,048 homeowners for whom Service New Brunswick fabricated renovation amounts to evade the 10 per cent tax increase limit.

That has now been reversed with the initial $682 increase in their tax bill reduced to less than $60.

Public support for family

McIntyre said the family received a lot of support in person and online when their story went public.

He's grateful for that and how it has worked out and said Ryder took it all in stride.

"Ryder was pretty excited being a little celebrity."