Park Land Taxation

Res #: 13-02A
Number: 13
Year: 2002
Midterm: No
Expired: Yes
Responses Received: No
Departments: Saskatchewan Environment

Resolution 13-02A

WHEREAS, subsection 4(3)(a) of The Rural Municipality Act, 1989 excludes any park land constituted pursuant to The Parks Act from the boundaries of a municipality; and 

WHEREAS, Saskatchewan Environment and Resource Management permits private development within these lands constituted pursuant to The Parks Act; and

WHEREAS, these private developments need not comply with any of the municipality's bylaws and regulations and are not subject to local taxation but receive the same benefits as any other private development within the boundaries of a municipality; and 

WHEREAS, these private developments can be in direct competition with other private developments within the boundaries of the municipality; 

THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED, that SARM lobby the Provincial Government to amend The Rural Municipality Act, 1989 to incorporate private developments within park lands constituted pursuant to The Parks Act into the boundaries of the municipality.

Response From Honourable Buckley Belanger, Minister of Environment:

In response to the above resolution, Saskatchewan Environment (SE) does not support taxation of cottages and commercial development on provincial park land nor incorporation of these areas within the boundaries of adjacent municipalities. SE has its own policies and regulations for private and commercial development in parks including adherence to all building and health codes which are enforced.

Provincial parks have their own legislation; The Parks Act and associated regulations. It would be cumbersome and unnecessary to have all provincial legislation, regulation, planning and zoning for provincial park lands duplicated by municipal legislation and bylaws.

Private developments in provincial parks receive little or no services from adjacent municipalities. SE currently provides most, if not all, municipal-type services within provincial park lands, i.e. sewer, water, internal roads, lighting, recreation services, and main road access to provincial parks is provided by Department of Highways and Transportation (DHT). In situations where minimal services may be provided by local municipalities to a provincial park, i.e. garbage collection, a "fee for service" can be negotiated with adjacent municipalities.

We note that resolutions similar to this one have been put forward in the past, and our response would also be somewhat repetitious, but there are no administrative or financial incentives for SE to pursue a major change as suggested in the resolution. I would like to thank you for relaying our rationale on this resolution to the members of your association.