Resort Residential Assessment Class
Res #: 26-09M
Responses Received: No
Departments: Saskatchewan Ministry of Municipal Affairs
WHEREAS the provincial re-assessments have resulted in large increases in the total assessed values of property in the province;
WHEREAS the values of resort properties have increased at a much higher rate than the balance of residential property in the province; and
WHEREAS these increases have resulted in resort properties paying a much larger portion of total taxation within a taxing authority;
BE IT RESOLVED that SAMA replace the existing “Seasonal Residential” assessment class with a new class called “Resort Residential”.
Background provided by the RM of Lakeland No. 521:
The Provincial Government has been aware of the increased portion of school taxation that has been raised from the escalating resort property values but does not have the tax tools to deal with this issue. Instructing SAMA to create a separate property class called “resort properties” would provide better information to government and provide the tax tools to provide more equitable treatment for school taxation.
Response from Honourable Jeremy Harrison, Minister of Municipal Affairs:
- It is unclear if this resolution refers to property classes established for property tax purposes by government or to a class that Saskatchewan Assessment Management Agency would use for assessment purposes.
- A decision was made to treat all residential property classes the same in terms of percentages of value during the 2001 revaluation, and to combine all residential property into a single class for local tax tool purposes. This decision was made to ensure fairness and equity. At the time, some residential properties were effectively taxed at a higher rate than other residential property.
- While some in the municipal sector are in favour of re-establishing the Seasonal Residential Property Class, the province is able to achieve greater stability in tax policy and consistency in the application of property tax policy by setting a single tax class for all residential properties. The net benefit of this is lower property tax overall for Saskatchewan people.
- 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.
- This year the government provided the largest reduction in the education portion of property taxes in history. In 2009, the total education property tax paid will be $649M and in 2010, the total is expected to be $596M. This represents a tax savings to property owners of $156M in 2010. The government has capped education property tax rates by setting province-wide mill rates for each of the three major property classes – residential (including seasonal property), commercial, and agricultural.