Res #: 6-04M
Responses Received: No
Departments: Saskatchewan Government Relations
WHEREAS, RMs and small urban communities are becoming more diversified with respect to types of businesses; and
WHEREAS, there is need to utilize the potential economic development opportunities already enjoyed by our city counterparts and to more closely reflect local circumstances;
THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED, that we strongly encourage the implementation of municipal authority to establish property subclasses within the four local property classes the province has set for use by municipalities in conjunction with current property tax tools.
Response from the Honourable Len Taylor, Minister of Government Relations:
Government appreciates that municipalities want to be able to adopt local property tax policy that responds to local circumstances. Saskatchewan municipalities are provided several property tax tools that allow greater flexibility than in any other jurisdiction in Canada. Other stakeholders, particularly those representing commercial and industrial sectors such as oil and gas, have asked the provincial government to not introduce new tax tools for municipalities.
These groups feel that they are already targeted for higher tax rates and that the authority to create subclasses could mean even higher property taxes. The rationale that has been advanced in support of authority for subclasses appears to confirm those concerns. Introducing additional local property tax tools goes against the Boughen Commission recommendation to create greater stability in tax policy. Government also continues to support the 1997 Reassessment Review Committee recommendation that was against the creation of new property classes. Government needs to balance all interests to determine what is in the public interest. I
f the municipality's intent is to stimulate economic development for selected commercial properties, legislation provides the opportunity for property tax exemptions to be used for this purpose.