Michael Kinar

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Wood J 2009 “ Wall Hints at Property Tax Relief”, The StarPhoenix 26 February

There is some good news coming for Saskatchewan property owners.

 

“Saskatchewan homeowners will see some education property tax relief in the provincial budget.”

 

This relief is long overdue and something property owners in Saskatchewan have been awaiting for years.

“Reform of the education property tax system is one of the main items on the Saskatchewan Party's agenda, with Rosetown-Elrose MLA Jim Reiter recently delivering a "how-to" report to the government.

But increasingly tight financial circumstances because of plunging resource prices have seen the government hint in recent weeks there may be no movement on the issue in the upcoming budget beyond a pledge to increase an existing rebate program.

However, fresh from two days of budget preparations, Wall said although the whole report won't be implemented, there will be action beyond the existing rebates.

‘Maybe not to exactly where we want to be, but (there will be) that first step towards that long-term answer,’ he said in an interview.”

Considering the state of the global and national economies, I think it is encouraging that our provincial government is not hesitating and at least taking this first step forward on the issue.

“At a news conference in Saskatoon, Wall decried the province's reliance on property taxes to fund education. Saskatchewan relies more on the property tax to fund education than any other province, with about a 50-50 split between government and property tax funding.

‘Education property tax is a capital tax and there's nothing more insidious in terms of economic growth than taxing capital rather than income or activity. So we'll have a balanced budget and it's a lot tighter, but Saskatchewan people ought not to be surprised if we're able to take some steps with the education property tax issue,’ he told reporters.”

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