POP: Assessments of Non-Arable Land

POP: Yes
Res #: POP 3-04A
Number: 3
Year: 2004
Midterm: No
Expired: Yes
Responses Received: No
Departments: Saskatchewan Assessment Management Agency

Point of Privilege Resolution No. 3-04A

WHEREAS, the current assessment values for non-arable land fail to reflect the true productivity of the land compared to the 1965 system; and

WHEREAS, under the 1965 system, a large difference in assessed values indicated the differences in productivity of different lands; and

WHEREAS, the 2001 assessment is based on limited numbers of pasture sales in each different carrying capacity which removes the true differences in productive values of various pasture types; and W

HEREAS, all agricultural land in the province, both arable and non-arable, will have a common mill rate applied by each individual RM;

THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED, that for the 2005 reassessment, SAMA adopt a method of assessing non-arable land which is similar to arable land assessment and uses a single provincial market index for the entire province.

Response from Murray Cooney, SAMA CEO:

The SAMA Board has chosen to maintain its existing productivity-related pasture valuation model. The existing model was developed in consultation with assessment stakeholders, including pastureland groups, when it was originally established. This pastureland model is based on productivity and provincial average selling prices. This decision will result in minimal or no shifts in assessment between different types of pasture within the pastureland category.

Pastureland fair values are expected to increase by 42 percent due to the increase in the average pasture selling price between the 1998 and 2002 base dates. The 2005 pasture model does not contain any local market adjustments; pasture with the same productive capacity and productivity rating will have the same assessed value regardless of location. SAMA believes there are adequate pasture sales to support the 2005 pasture model.

SAMA considered a number of alternative productivity model options for the pasture model for 2005 and reviewed those options with stakeholders and SAMA's advisory committees. There was no clear consensus received from the advisory committees. The selected pasture model results in the most consistent changes in pasture land values of any of the options available to the Board.

The long term effects of the BSE crisis on the livestock producers were a serious concern for the SAMA Board, but the Board's options were limited due to the legislated revaluation cycle and base date. In recognition of the Summer 2003 BSE crisis for the livestock industry, and the significant increase on pasture land rates, SAMA is recommending that the provincial government consider the current environment for the livestock industry when they make their 2004 decisions on percentage of values and tax classes.

The decision regarding the pastureland valuation model for 2005 will not affect ongoing research into ways to improve the productivity models for pasture and arable land. Long term research is expected to intensify over the next two years so that improvements can be implemented for the next major revaluation scheduled for 2009. SAMA will continue to consult on this important issue through its advisory committees and through other appropriate stakeholder review committees.