The NDP is calling for a fairer revenue sharing deal for municipalities after years of enduring the government downloading additional costs onto their taxpayers.
“Municipalities have seen their fair share of program cuts and tax hikes from the Sask. Party, and it’s the people of the province that wind up paying more because of it,” said NDP Leader Ryan Meili. “Municipalities will be getting less money than they did in the years between 2013-14 and 2017-18. We believe this deal should have an increased amount going to municipalities to help make up for the cuts, but also to cover for population growth and inflation.”
Some examples of the Sask. Party’s mistreatment of the municipalities include:
- The provincial budget suspended the Community Rink Affordability Grant;
- Saskatchewan Regional Parks funding cut by 50 per cent (losing $500,000 from $1.023 million down to $523,000);
- Cut funding to the Meewasin Valley Authority by $409,000;
- Took over control of Wascana Centre Authority;
- Suspended the Main Street Saskatchewan Program;
- Further cut funding to the Urban Highway Connector Program - which dropped by $1 million dollars to $6.65M in the 2017-18 budget
- Cuts to funding for grants-in-lieu contracts in the 2017-18 budget.
“What we learned today is that the Sask. Party is locking the province into the damaging PST hike on construction labour, which will slow the economy and add more costs to municipalities,” said Municipal Relations Critic Trent Wotherspoon. “This isn’t a deal that works for businesses, municipalities or families that are just trying to get by.”