Golf Course Property Class

Res #: 34-12A
Number: 34
Year: 2012
Midterm: No
Expired: Yes
Responses Received: No
Departments: Saskatchewan Ministry of Municipal Affairs

WHEREAS having recreational properties such as golf courses lumped into the commercial property class is an unfair property classification; and

WHEREAS there is a difference between a private, commercially owned golf course and a publicly owned not for profit golf course; and

WHEREAS recreational properties struggle to make ends meet and commercial properties are taxed at 100% of assessed value; and

WHEREAS “Designated Recreational Property” have their own property class in Manitoba, and this class is taxed based on 10% of assessment.

BE IT RESOLVED that The Municipalities Regulations be amended to create a golf course property class and that the percentage of value be set at 10%.

Response from Honourable Darryl Hickie, Minister of Municipal Affairs:

Municipalities already have the authority in accordance with the municipal Acts, to provide a local tax exemption from municipal property taxes for commercial golf courses, whether they be privately owned for profit or publicly owned not for profit.

Municipalities and school boards have the autonomy to make tax policy decisions at the local level. The Municipalities Act provides the ability for municipalities to exempt the municipal portion of the property taxes only; the education portion must still be paid unless the school division agrees with the exemption decision. Municipalities do not have to seek agreement from the school boards to exempt only the municipal portion. If a municipality feels a commercial enterprise needs a property tax exemption to succeed, then the municipality already has the authority to exempt it from the municipal portion of the property tax.

In situations where the exemption is for new development, the municipality may exempt both municipal and education property tax for up to five years.

Creating a property class and lower percentage of value for commercial golf courses, either privately owned for profit or publicly owned not for profit, could encourage pressures from other industry stakeholders for similar treatment. Such a business makes use of RM infrastructure and services, such as roads for access, the same as other rural businesses and industry do as well. If the provincial government is seen providing preferential property tax treatment to a specific commercial entity, a precedent could be set resulting in other requests for similar treatment being sent to government. RMs may not like where this precedent may lead.