Res #: 24-09M
Responses Received: No
Departments: Saskatchewan Ministry of Municipal Affairs
WHEREAS the composition of rural municipalities is changing in that:
–villages and hamlets are becoming part of RMs;
–acreages are being developed in RMs;
–resort areas are being created within RMs;
WHEREAS there are at least 4 distinct types of residential properties within some RMs, being:
–farm residential – consisting of 3 acres designated residential on all home quarters;
–country residential – consisting of acreages within RMs;
–urban residential – consisting of lots within villages and hamlets that are part of an RM;
–resort residential – consisting of properties in resort areas within an RM;
WHEREAS all of the above fall under one tax class of residential; and
WHEREAS there are no tax tools available with that class to mitigate inequities;
BE IT RESOLVED that SARM lobby the Ministry of Municipal Affairs to create residential sub-classes for residential properties in rural municipalities.
Response from Honourable Jeremy Harrison, Minister of Municipal Affairs:
- While we appreciate the changing composition of rural areas, Saskatchewan’s property tax system already recognizes a high degree of autonomy for municipalities to set local property tax policies. This includes the use of a variety of local tax tools that RMs have access to; including mill rate factors, minimum tax, base tax, and local property tax exemption.
- Introducing residential sub-classes would introduce instability to the tax system and be a step back from the principles of transparency, fairness and equity. Currently, a single mill rate is applied to all types of residential property so they are treated consistently and fairly.
- A key parameter to accurate valuations is location. Location may influence sale prices and is considered in the determination of market value assessments. Therefore differences between farm, country, urban or resort residential properties will be reflected in the market value assessments without the need for a residential sub-class.
- Some would be concerned that with residential sub-classes, some types of residential property would be unfairly taxed at a higher rate than others.