Resolutions

Abandon The Miscellaneous Statutes Amendment Act

Year: 2007

Resolution

"Therefore be it resolved that the Saskatchewan Urban Municipalities Association increase its lobby efforts to persuade the Provincial Government that the proposed changes to the Municipalities Act with respect to the prescribing of discounts for the early and prompt payment of taxes are unacceptable to Saskatchewan urban municipalities and should be abandoned."

Provincial Response

Response: The circumstances that led to government’s decision to introduce legislation that would standardize property taxes discount and penalty rates are well documented. The actions taken by some municipalities over the past number of years, most recently by RMs to withhold education property taxes, undermine the legal foundation of local government. These actions are inappropriate and illegal. Government has an obligation to property owners and to the education sector to ensure that this does not happen. The actions of some RMs had significant adverse financial impacts on school divisions and their ability to provide quality education. This Act has been passed by the Legislature. We recognized the concerns of municipalities and a house amendment was made to the Bill. This has made the application of incentives (tax discounts) for the prompt payment of taxes after they are levied optional for municipalities, instead of mandatory. However, if municipalities decide to adopt such incentives, they will still be based on provincial regularizations. It is hoped that this change will allow municipal the autonomy to decide whether or not they wish to provide tax discounts for the prompt payment of taxes at all. The department will be undertaking further consultations on the draft regulations before they are finalized. The input received to date has been taken into account in revising the draft that was previously circulated.

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