The provincial government has introduced a SaskEnergy municipal surcharge in the 2018 budget.

The Crown will collect a five per cent surcharge to be paid to urban municipalities. The charge will be passed on to customers on their bills.

“On the municipal level, they will have to sell it to their residents if it never existed before,” Finance Minister Donna Harpauer told reporters on Tuesday. “For those who had this charge on before, there will be no change.”

Harpauer said 109 communities already had a surcharge in place. Regina and Saskatoon were two of the municipalities with a surcharge already in place. But, last year the province kept the money from the surcharge rather than putting the money into the cities’ coffers.

“We didn’t get everything we wanted back from last year from the cut,” Regina Mayor Michael Fougere said. “But, we’re going to get about $7.5 million from SaskEnergy, the five per cent energy surcharge, as well as grants-in-lieu of property tax of property taxes. So, we are pleased with that.”

“We’re always limited in what tools we have to raise revenues and we need to work together at all levels to make sure that we’re able to make sure we are able to provide those services our residents value,” Saskatoon Mayor Charlie Clark said.

Municipalities can choose to opt out of the surcharge.