Use of Sub-classes

Res #: 21-05M
Number: 21
Year: 2005
Midterm: Yes
Expired: Yes
Responses Received: No
Departments: Saskatchewan Assessment Management Agency

Resolution No. 21-05M

WHEREAS, the SAMA policy manual allows SAMA to designate sub-classes of property within rural municipalities; and

WHEREAS, legislation does not allow rural municipalities to address sub-classes of property like homogenous neighbourhoods or enhanced neighbourhoods such as SAMA has classed within rural municipalities; and

WHEREAS, SAMA’s designation of sub-classes has resulted in tremendous and inequitable tax assessments increases within these neighbourhoods which rural municipalities are helpless to address by way of normal tax tool adjustments;

THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED, that rural municipalities be given the power and authority to implement sub-classes and neighbourhoods within their municipalities, so that tax tools may be applied to regulate and address assessment adjustments.

Response from the Honourable Len Taylor, Minister of Government Relations:

The 1997 Reassessment Review Committee, which included representation from SARM, reported in 1999 with recommendations to support "the current property classes and recommend against the creation of new classes." Government continues to support the 1997 Reassessment Review Committee recommendation that was against the creation of new property classes. Introducing additional local property tax tools is also in conflict with the Boughen Commission recommendations to create greater stability in tax policy.

In addition, introducing additional local property tax tools is also in conflict with the recent changes to local property tax tools that simplified the property tax system. Government made amendments to simplify the property tax system, effective January 2005, by removing the local seasonal residential property class. As of January 1, 2006, under The Municipalities Act, the authority to phase-in property assessments and taxes will be removed (as the provision was not used by RMs). Adding subclass authority for RMs would introduce a complexity to the property tax system, which would go against these changes.