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Irving Pulp and Paper Mills Receive New Property Tax Assessments from Service New Brunswick

SAINT JOHN, NB:   Like most property owners across the Province we are in receipt of our 2021 assessments for Irving Pulp & Paper (Saint John), Irving Paper (Saint John), Irving Tissue (Saint John) and Lake Utopia Paper (near St. George). As expected, there were changes at some of our pulp and paper mills reflecting Service New Brunswick’s independent review of the market values.  Overall, our assessments went up 15% on average.  We cooperated fully with the work of Service New Brunswick (SNB). While we have not yet had time to review our new assessments in detail, we note that the market for pulp and paper mills continues to be a buyers’ market. 


Paper use in particular is declining as a result of increased digital technology; this is reflected in the number of mills that have idled or closed across North America.  Since 2013 demand for our paper products across North America has decreased by 50% and a significant number of mills have been closed.


Turner Drake and Partners, Ltd. (property tax experts) recently reviewed all Eastern Canadian pulp and paper mill property taxes and confirmed that our New Brunswick mills were in the top quartile for taxes paid.


Unfortunately, there continues to be misinformation about a “deal” or “break” given to NB pulp and paper mills in 2013/2014.  In fact, what actually occurred was a reassessment of the mills by SNB at the request of industry as we suspected our mills were substantially over assessed.  This request to review assessments is a regular occurrence and is performed by SNB for all properties: residential; commercial; and industrial.  The same assessment review requests were made by pulp and paper mills in Ontario in the early 2010’s and assessments were subsequently reduced by 60% to 75%.  This was clearly not a “tax break” or a “deal” by the Province of Ontario – it was simply an acknowledgement that the pulp and paper mills were over assessed at the time.  The same thing occurred in NB in 2013/2014.


Like homeowners and commercial businesses, we firmly believe in paying property taxes based on the market value of our mills.





Mary Keith

Vice President, Communications


(506) 632-5122 office


(506) 650-8209 (cell)