Res #: 7-01A
Responses Received: No
Departments: Saskatchewan Government Relations
Resolution No. 7-01A
WHEREAS, the tax review committee has arbitrarily denied the RM of Lakeland No. 521 the benefits of Sec. 331(1)(q) and has not replaced it with some other means of obtaining fairness and equity for the ratepayers in the RM of Lakeland No.521; and
WHEREAS, Premier Roy Romanow, the Honourable Jack Hillson, Minister of Saskatchewan Municipal Affairs, Culture and Housing, and our MLA’s have said that there must be fairness and equity for all ratepayers in the province of Saskatchewan whether it be for urban or rural residents and that it is in no one’s interest to pit urban residents against rural residents; and
WHEREAS, the RM of Lakeland No. 521 is facing the largest tax increase in 2001 of any community in Saskatchewan (Many ratepayers will see an increase in excess of 100%);
THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED, that SARM advise the provincial government that the tremendous tax burden forced on the tax payers of the RM of Lakeland No. 521 is both unfair and inequitable.
Response from Hon. Ron Osika:
No further amendment to this provision is being considered at this time. The Property Tax Exemption Review Committee, which included representatives from the Saskatchewan Association of Rural Municipalities (SARM), the Rural Municipal Administrators Association of Saskatchewan (RMAAS), and the Provincial Association of Resort Communities (PARCS), recommended that the calculation of the property tax exemption for rural dwellings outside of organized hamlets should be based on ownership or lease of only agricultural land (classified as either A- agricultural or N – non-arable/rangeland).
The government carefully considered the report of the Property Tax Exemption Review Committee and decided to accept the Committee's recommendation regarding clause 331(1)(q) to address the inequities that it created. Amendments to The Rural Municipality Act, 1989, effective January 1, 2001, support the original intent of the exemption to assist farmers due to the primary importance of the agricultural sector to the province. Allowing the exemption to include country residential and seasonal properties was contrary to that objective. The change means greater equity in property taxes will be achieved among similar properties within the same school division.