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Part of municipal funding restored in 2018 provincial budget
Published Tuesday, April 10, 2018 4:14PM CST
Last Updated Tuesday, April 10, 2018 7:21PM CST
Saskatchewan municipalities will see some of the revenue lost in last year’s budget restored in 2018.
SaskPower and SaskEnergy will now pay grants-in-lieu of property taxes on owned real estate assets like office buildings. Generation, transmission and distribution facilities are exempted, along with pipelines and land.
SaskEnergy will also now collect a five per cent surcharge to be paid to urban municipalities. The charge will be passed on to customers on their bills. Municipalities can choose to opt out of the program. There is already a SaskPower surcharge in place. It won’t change in the 2018 provincial budget.
The City of Regina says restoring grants-in-lieu will bring in around $1.14 million. The SaskEnergy surcharge will provide the municipal government around $6.43 million.
“These allocations will not make the city whole, but we are encouraged the province is following through on its commitment to provide a stable, predictable solution to the issues we faced last year,” Regina Mayor Michael Fougere said in a written statement. “The government has to make tough decisions right now, but we all want the same thing: fair and sustainable programs that recognize the circumstances of individual communities.”
The province will give $412.9 million to municipalities through municipal revenue sharing, as well as funding for municipal infrastructure projects and other community services. The revenue sharing amount is based on one per cent of the Provincial Sales Tax collected by the government in 2016.
“Cities are always limited in what tools we have to raise revenues and we need to work together at all levels to make sure we are able to provide those services our residents value,” Saskatoon Mayor Charlie Clark said.
The Saskatchewan Party says it will be reviewing the municipal revenue sharing model after PST increased in 2017.