Classes of Assessment

Res #: 11-21M
Number: 11
Year: 2021
Midterm: Yes
Expired: No
Responses Received: Yes
Departments: Saskatchewan Ministry of Government Relations

WHEREAS the Lieutenant Governor in council may make regulations establishing classes of assessment of property for the purposes of mill rate factors, minimum tax, and base tax (section 284 of Municipalities Act); and
WHEREAS subject to the regulations, a council may, by bylaw, set mill rate factors (section 285 of Municipalities Act) and since 2011 the classes of assessment of property for commercial and industrial includes the assessments of land and improvements classified as commercial and industrial, elevators and railway right of ways and pipelines (section 42 of Municipalities Regulations); and
WHEREAS small commercial businesses such as, a mom-and-pop shop, differs greatly from an industrial business such as, a processing plant, and a municipality cannot utilize tax tools to redistribute the cost of public service within the two types of businesses.
BE IT RESOLVED that SARM lobby the provincial government to amend the Municipalities Regulations to have commercial, industrial, elevators, railway right of ways and pipelines each as its own class of assessment to allow municipalities to utilize tax tools between the various commercial and industrial classes.

Responses From: Saskatchewan Ministry of Government Relations

March 9, 2022

  • When considering these changes, government needs to consider the viewpoints of all parties involved, including rural industry. The impact on the broader economy and our competitiveness for rural and resource industry development also needs to be taken into consideration.
  • Government has heard that the commercial/industrial sector already feels rural municipalities (RM s) are using exist in g tax tools within the property tax system, such as mill rate factors, to target or single out certain properties. Industry strongly opposes any changes that would expand the authority for RMs to further differentiate the tax levy for the commercial/industrial property class, or parts of it.
  • The Ministry of Government Relations’ recent review of the use of local tax tools shows there are already issues around the fairness of the application of these tools in property taxation of rural industry. Separating specific industries from the commercial property class could undermine government’ s focus on facilitating growth and may reduce Saskatchewan’s economic competitiveness.
  • Municipalities already have the ability to either partially or fully exempt or abate taxes. This can be done to provide small business a lower tax rate if desired. Exempting or abating property taxes, using mill rates and property classes only apply to municipal taxation. Education property tax is not impacted by any of these local decisions.

Hon. Don McMorris – Minister of Government Relations