Education Tax on Agriculture Land
Res #: 23-01A
Responses Received: No
Departments: Saskatchewan Government Relations
Resolution No. 23-01A
WHEREAS, the provincial government has one more year of the Education Tax Rebate Program on Agriculture Land; and
WHEREAS, the new assessment and provincial tax policies will again increase the education tax on agricultural land;
THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED, that SARM lobby the provincial government to FREEZE Education Tax on agricultural land at today's level and reduce the tax by 15% per year.
Response from Hon. Jim Melenchuk:
Our government strongly believes that all Saskatchewan students, no matter where they live, should receive the highest quality of education possible. Investing in the education of our young people is one of the best ways to ensure the future success of our province and all of Saskatchewan residents. Financing the public education system is Saskatchewan is shared responsibility.
The government provides funding from general revenues on an equalizing basis and school boards raise the remaining funding requirements from the property tax base. Saskatchewan Education is committed to continuing to work with our partners in government and the education community to find an appropriate and effective combination of revenue sources to meet the diverse and growing public expectations of our education system.
In preparation for the 2001 reassessment, the government took a variety of measures to mitigate the potential impact of the 2001 reassessment. A percentage of value of 55 percent was applied on cultivated agricultural property in 2001. This is a reduction on 15 percent. Non-arable land maintained a percentage of value of 50 percent. Legislative Assembly eliminated the business assessment and tax and eliminated the rural residence property tax exemption (331(1)(q)) provision for country residential and seasonal property.
These amendments have taken effect January 1, 2001. The exemption for farm properties still exists. The property tax rebate program, which is administered by Saskatchewan Agriculture and Food, represents a cost reduction to farmers that will be of assistance in these difficult times for agriculture. For the 2001 calendar year, this government has provided $460.1 million to school divisions, an increase of 7.9 percent over the 2000 grant. This is the largest annual increase in provincial government grants to schools in fifteen years and demonstrates our government's commitment to public education.
Our government is committed to achieving and sustaining a balance among the principles of equity for students, equity for property taxpayers and the effective capacity of locally elected boards of education. The challenge is to work with our partners in government and the education comminute to find an appropriate and effective combination of revenue sources to meet the diverse and growing public expectations of our education system.