Hamlet Residential Assessment Exemption
Res #: 7-22A
Responses Received: Yes
Departments: Saskatchewan Ministry of Government Relations
WHEREAS in 2021, a change in legislation to section 293 of the Municipalities Act (Exemptions from Taxations in Rural Municipalities) (hereinafter referred to as the “assessment exemption”) removed the assessment exemption from hamlet properties due to hamlet properties receiving greater services than residential improvements situated on agricultural land outside of a hamlet;
WHEREAS this generality that all hamlet properties are the same and that they all receive more services than agricultural property is a fallacy; and
WHEREAS only a locally elected municipal council can determine if the hamlet properties in its municipality receive more services and therefore whether an assessment exemption should or should not be applied.
BE IT RESOLVED That SARM lobby the provincial government to change legislation to give municipal councils the discretion to determine whether an assessment exemption should be applied on hamlet properties within their jurisdiction.
Responses From: Saskatchewan Ministry of Government Relations
September 29, 2022
- The farmland tax exemption under The Municipalities Act (MA) has been in place for years. It applies to residences and buildings in rural municipalities (RMs). It was recently amended to treat residences in unorganized hamlets the same as those in organized hamlets. This was at the request of the Saskatchewan Association of Rural Municipalities (SARM) (resolution #8-15). This amendment came into force on January 1, 2021.
- The previous SARM resolution (#8-lSM) asked that the tax exemption for residences in hamlets be removed, since RMs are obligated to provide additional services to hamlets, just as in organized hamlets, such as water supply, sewage disposal, and waste management.
- Municipalities already have the authority to apply local tax exemptions to properties. Therefore, if a municipality determines that other hamlet properties should receive a tax exemption, it can do so on an individual or case-by-case basis.
- The Ministry of Government Relations is open to hearing proposals from all stakeholders for ensuring that agricultural tax exemptions are fair and equitable across the province and, if there is consensus for change, these could be considered the next time that legislation is amended.
The Honourable Don McMorris – Minister of Government Relations, Saskatchewan Ministry of Government Relations