Property Taxes and Council Eligibility
Res #: 35-12A
Responses Received: No
Departments: Saskatchewan Ministry of Municipal Affairs
WHEREAS municipal councils manage the governance and financial matters of the municipality; and
WHEREAS municipal councils are responsible for planning the budget and the corresponding mill rate; and
WHEREAS it is not a requirement under The Municipalities Act for a nominated reeve or councillor to be in good financial standing with the municipality;
BE IT RESOLVED that The Municipalities Act be amended to require nominated members of council to be current (not in arrears) regarding property taxes with the municipality.
Response from Honourable Darryl Hickie, Minister of Municipal Affairs:
This resolution would require candidates for municipal office to be current (not in arrears) in their municipal property tax payments in order to be able to run for office.
Previous proposals have required candidates to publicly declare whether they are in arrears. However, in 2010, both SARM and RMAA indicated declaring tax arrears information was unnecessary as tax arrears information is already made public: the list of arrears is published in the newspaper and the information is available at the municipal office at any time of year.
A change would need to include some sort of requirement for the municipal administrator to confirm candidates’ tax status prior to accepting a nomination and permitting someone to run for office, in order to enforce the provision.
A change of this nature would involve amending The Local Government Election Act (LGEA) and, for consistency, would likely need to apply to prospective candidates for all types of municipalities. If SARM wishes to pursue this change, it ought to discuss it with SUMA to determine if there is agreement among municipal associations on this point. Then an amendment to the LGEA could be considered next time that Act is open for amendment.