NDP accuses province of balancing its own books at the expense of municipalities and municipal ratepayers

The Saskatchewan NDP raises the alarm today over the growing amount owed in municipal property tax arrears as a result of the province offloading expenses onto municipalities and driving up costs by expanding PST to construction labour. Over the past four years, the amount owed to Saskatchewan municipalities in unpaid property taxes climbed 12 per cent in Prince Albert, 85 per cent in Saskatoon, 112 per cent in Moose Jaw, and 145 per cent in Regina.

“People across the province are unable to balance their budgets and are falling behind on their property taxes because of all the expenses this government has offloaded onto municipalities,” said NDP Leader Ryan Meili. “Now people are supposed to cheer because they achieved ‘balance’ at the expense of people and municipalities? That’s bad policy, and it hurts people.”

“If this government were serious about the fiscal health, the first thing they would do would be to reverse the PST expansion to construction labour, restaurant meals, insurance, and children’s clothes,” said Critic for Finance and Municipal Relations Trent Wotherspoon. “That single decision has been so destructive for Saskatchewan people, businesses, and municipalities, and we will continue to call on them to reverse it.”

Background:

City

2013 Arrears

2017 Arrears

Difference

% Difference

Source

Notes

Saskatoon

 $         1,580,279

 $        2,919,214

 $      1,338,935

85%

https://www.saskatoon.ca/sites/default/files/documents/asset-financial-management/finance-supply/cos_2017-ar-aug9.pdf

Regina

 $         4,740,000

 $  11,594,000

 $      6,854,000

145%

https://www.regina.ca/residents/budget/financial-documents/

Prince Albert

 $         2,539,693

 $    2,848,906

 $          309,213

12%

http://citypa.ca/City-Hall/Annual-Report

Moose Jaw

 $            278,614

 $        591,111

 $          312,497

112%

https://moosejaw.ca/wp-content/uploads/02.25.2019-Council-Pkg-PUB.pdf?ts=1551131138788

2018 arrears are known, even higher at $934,059