Education Property Taxation in Provicial Parks
Res #: 27-03A
Responses Received: No
Departments: Saskatchewan Environment
Resolution No. 27-03A
WHEREAS, residential buildings at provincial parks that are occupied as year-round residences are not currently assessed for school taxes; and
WHEREAS, there are a growing number of people residing at provincial parks year-round; and
WHEREAS, many of these residents have students attending local schools;
THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED, that the government assess the residential buildings located in provincial parks and apply a local school tax levy on these assessments.
Response from the Honourable Buckley Belanger, Minister of Environment:
Our government recognizes the issue of property taxation of permanent residents in provincial parks as a matter of importance. This matter is presently under study, and the Departments of Learning and Environment are collaborating in the development of options, which would address this issue. As you can appreciate, this issue is more than an issue of school policy taxation; this is an issue of equity for all taxpayers of Saskatchewan.
The policy needs to address all residential and commercially leased property in provincial parks, not just permanent residents or residents with school-aged children. While our government recognizes this issue is of considerable concern for those local residents who may be directly affected, we must deal with some significant practical problems that arise. For example, applying the standard property tax regime in provincial parks is not as straightforward as in regional parks, because provincial parks are not directly associated with any urban or rural municipality. As such, the appropriate legal and administrative mechanism to levy and collect the required amount from each property owner needs to be considered.
Saskatchewan Environment (SE) is currently working on a comprehensive resolution of this issue that would achieve the objective of taxpayer equity for provincial park property in a fair and sensible way. Please be assured that our government will continue to work toward an optimal solution that will hopefully achieve the objective of taxpayer equity for provincial park leased property.