Establish Classes and Sub-Classes of Property in The Municipalities Act
Therefore be it resolved that the Saskatchewan Urban Municipalities Association urge the Ministry of Municipal Affairs to amend The Municipalities Act Section 284 to provide for the establishment of classes and sub classes of property for the purpose of establishing tax rates in the same manner as provided for in The Cities Act Section 254.
A fundamental principle in property taxation in Saskatchewan and across North America is that it is based on the ad valorem principle, that is, property is taxed according to its value. Compared with other jurisdictions, Saskatchewan's property tax system already gives a high degree of autonomy to municipalities to set local property tax policies. This includes a variety of local tax tools that urban municipalities have access to, including mill rate factors, minimum tax, base tax and local property tax exemption. The government has been working to ensure the property assessment and taxation system is understandable, stable and equitable to all taxpayers. Making changes by introducing subclass authority would introduce instability to the system and be a step back from the principles of transparency and equity. Subclass authority could be sued by urban municipalities to target specific properties; the size of most towns and villages compared with cities makes it likely that some subclasses could single out only a few specific properties.