Amendment of Section 293 of The Municipalities Act
Res #: 8-22A
Responses Received: Yes
Departments: Saskatchewan Ministry of Government Relations
WHEREAS Section 293 of the Municipalities Act outlines provisions for exemption from taxation in a rural municipality;
WHEREAS Subsection (4) states:
“A lessee is only eligible to receive the exemption provided for by clause (2)(e): (a) with respect to land leased from an owner who is not eligible to receive the exemption; and
(b) with respect to land leased from an owner who is entitled to the exemption, if the owner or lessee provides to the assessor, on or before March 31 in any year, a copy of the lease and a written notice signed by the owner stating that the owner has agreed that the lessee is to receive the exemption.”; and
WHEREAS subsection (4) does not provide the assessor authority to question the legitimacy of a lease agreement. Therefore, providing an avenue for the submission of fraudulent lease agreements and an unfair qualification for exemption from taxation.
BE IT RESOLVED SARM lobby the provincial government to amend section 293 of the Municipalities Act to provide lease agreement verification powers to the assessor to reduce the potential of the submission of fraudulent lease agreements and thereby reduce any false exemption of taxation claims within a rural municipality.
Responses From: Saskatchewan Ministry of Government Relations
September 29, 2022
- The farmland tax exemption under The Municipalities Act has been in place for years. It applies to residences and buildings in rural municipalities. The exemption applies to the property owner or lessee who is claiming the tax exemption, without specifying the contents of the lease.
- The issue of whether a specific lease situation may or may not be legitimate may well be one requiring an appeal board or the courts to review. A property owner or person with an interest in the property may appeal an exemption issue. Appeals may also be filed by the municipality, another taxing authority or the Saskatchewan Assessment Management Agency.
- The Ministry of Government Relations is open to hearing suggestions for how the wording in the legislation regarding leases in section 293 could be improved. These suggestions could be considered the next time the municipal legislation is amended.
The Honourable Don McMorris – Minister of Government Relations, Saskatchewan Ministry of Government Relations