The 2011 budget shows that the Province recognizes the needs of rural Saskatchewan and continues to support municipal governments in their efforts to address current issues. The province reaffirmed their commitment for the second phase of education property tax relief; for the year the province will cover 65% up from 40% in the past.
“We are pleased with the budget released today and are especially glad to see the continued reduction in education property tax; this is a long-standing issue that we’re glad to see resolved,” said David Marit, President of SARM.
The provincial budget also provides increased revenue sharing for municipalities to a full one percent of PST. “The additional funding is welcomed news to our members,” said Marit. SARM is also grateful for continued funding for the Municipal Roads for the Economy Program (MREP) and for the fast-tracking of the funds.
In agriculture, announcements were made regarding a number of enhancements to the 2011 Crop Insurance Program; a record high financial commitment for crop insurance funding was reached this year with increases to coverage levels for crops, forage and excess moisture programs. Continued funding for the Wild Boar Program was also announced, along with increased Rat Control (PREP) funding and $500,000 of new funding for a Beaver Control Program to be administered by SARM. “We are very pleased that the province continues to recognize and act on the needs of our agricultural producers,” said Marit.
An increase in the provincial share of capital costs for healthcare facilities from 65 to 80 percent is also very well received by rural Saskatchewan. The new cost-sharing formula will assist communities to meet the financial requirements of these much needed facilities.
Other highlights include a balanced budget, debt reduction, and other tax improvements to further benefit rural families and businesses. “A lot of good things have come out of this budget. We expect 2011 to be a more prosperous year for rural Saskatchewan,” concluded President Marit.
For more information contact:
David Marit Dale Harvey
President Executive Director
(306) 476-7754 (306) 535-7343
“SARM, the Voice of Rural Saskatchewan”