Taxable Enforcement of Bylaw Penalties

Res #: 15-23A
Number: 15
Year: 2023
Midterm: No
Expired: No
Responses Received: Yes
Departments: Saskatchewan Ministry of Government Relations

WHEREAS there are minor Bylaw offences, such as, but not limited to, dogs running at large and parking infractions, to which a voluntary payment option may be available to the offender pursuant to the terms of an RM Bylaw.

WHEREAS in the event an offender does not voluntarily make payment, further enforcement action against the offender is required through the Court system which is cost prohibitive and time consuming for Rural Municipalities to pursue.

WHEREAS it would be desirable that if the offender (a) is a ratepayer of the Rural Municipality in which the offence took place; (b) fails to respond to the offence notice; and (c) fails to pay an amount equal to the specified penalty sum for the offence within a stipulated time period, that the specified penalty sum be added to the ratepayer’s annual municipal taxes, in order to enforce and collect the specified penalty sum.

BE IT RESOLVED that SARM lobby the provincial government to amend The Summary Offences Procedures Act, 1990, and, to the extent required, The Municipalities Act, to allow enforcement of certain Bylaw offences to which a voluntary payment option exists by adding such fine to the ratepayer’s annual municipal taxes if not paid within the time stipulated in the Bylaw.

Responses From: Saskatchewan Ministry of Government Relations, Saskatchewan Ministry of Justice and Attorney General

May 31, 2023

Please note that resolution 15-23A ‘Taxable Enforcement of Bylaw Penalties’ is also under the mandate of the Ministry of Justice and Attorney General. Officials from both ministries have consulted on the below response to that resolution.

  • In order for a municipality to issue offence notice tickets with a default conviction option, those types of bylaws (i.e., animal control) must be specified in The Summary Offences Procedure Regulations, 1991, which are under the purview of the Ministry of Justice and Attorney General.
  • The proposed changes would impact court processes and the administration of These potential impacts would need to be considered in consultation with the Ministry of Justice and Attorney General.
  • Adding unpaid costs to taxes is a complex Only costs related to or tied to property should be added to the tax roll, because unpaid taxes could stay with the property as a lien.
  • For example, unpaid utility costs can be added to the tax Utility services are specifically tied to a property. If there are unpaid utility costs and the municipality has notified the property owner that fees are in arrears, then the municipality can add the unpaid fees to the tax roll. This would be considered a lien on the property and could be collected by the municipality when the property is sold. It could be unfair to charge a new property owner the fee from an animal or traffic offence that was given to the previous owner when the offence is not tied to the property.

The Honourable Don McMorris – Minister of Government Relations, Government of Saskatchewan