Tax and fee hikes in Swift Current, Moose Jaw and Regina are the most recent examples of tough decisions that municipalities throughout the province have been forced to make because of the Sask. Party’s deep cuts.
“In the wake of Sask. Party cuts, cities, towns, and villages across Saskatchewan are being forced to cut services and jobs, and raise property taxes. There’s no two ways about it, these municipal tax hikes are Sask. Party tax hikes,” said Municipal Affairs Critic Nicole Rancourt. “It was the Sask. Party’s own mismanagement, scandal, and waste but, instead of accepting responsibility and working to find solutions, they have cut funding to communities and it’s Saskatchewan people who are paying the price.”
This week, adding to tax hikes that have already been announced across the province, residents in Regina were told to expect an increase to their water bills, and homeowners in Swift Current were told to prepare for a 13.14 per cent tax increase – close to half of which was directly caused by shortfalls from provincial funding. Moose Jaw also announced they have to raise taxes. The average homeowner in Moose Jaw will have to pay $52 more in taxes next year.
In Prince Albert, the cuts have forced the city to lay off nine workers and won’t be able to re-hire them unless the Sask. Party restores their funding.
“All across the province, I’ve been hearing the same thing. The Sask. Party cuts are forcing municipalities’ hands,” Rancourt said. “All of this comes at a time when jobs are being lost across the province and families are struggling to get by. The Sask. Party needs to stop cutting and start working with our municipalities to build stronger and fairer communities.”