Authorization of All Municipalities to Utilize Subclasses in Taxation
Department: Saskatchewan Ministry of Government Relations
WHEREAS the assessment values established by the Saskatchewan Assessment Management Agency (SAMA) for the 2017 re-valuation year showed that for commercial businesses there was a substantial increase to their assessments and the Commercial Resource Sector did not see a substantial increase and some even saw a decrease, which poses a problem for the municipalities that have a large commercial resource sector and want to encourage development of businesses within their boundaries;
WHEREAS because legislation states that rural municipalities do not have the authority to create tax sub-classes for taxing of commercial businesses and commercial resource properties differently, rural municipalities have no way of establishing a fair way of taxing commercial class without the local commercial businesses seeing a substantial tax increase;
WHEREAS all municipalities have the legislation authorizing the council members to abate any portion of municipal taxes, but this does not create a fair way of taxation amongst the specific tax class and in fact, councils must be careful as to not be bias in their decision to create a tax abatement policy;
WHEREAS cities have the legislation in The Cities Act sections 254(1) and 255(3) authorizing them to utilize the option of creating and establishing property subclasses within the agricultural, residential, and commercial tax classes for taxation demonstrating the flexibility provided to cities to take into consideration local circumstances and priorities when deciding local tax policy, where northern and rural municipalities do not have this ability offered to them;
BE IT RESOLVED that SARM lobby the provincial government to have legislation changed to authorize all types of municipalities to be able to create tax subclasses within the agricultural, residential, and commercial tax classes in order to create a fair way of taxation amongst the property tax classes for all types of municipalities, as part of the government’s role of ensuring fairness and equality in the property taxation system.