Saskatchewan’s Government Relations Minister says after recent meetings with Saskatchewan mayors, she is moving forward with the cap on the reduction of grants-in-lieu of taxes for communities which “are seeing their funding disproportionately reduced in this year.”
That cap will be equivalent to no more than 30-percent of the amount the municipality receives in revenue sharing.
Harpauer says the grants-in-lieu reduction is a one-year measure as part of the government’s three-year plan to return to balance.
The cities which will receive the 30-percent cap are Estevan, Humboldt, Melfort, Melville, Moose Jaw, North Battleford, Prince Albert, Weyburn and Yorkton.
Harpauer says the decision in the 2017-18 budget to cancel the grants-in-lieu were equivalent to reducing their revenue sharing by about 15-percent.
“However, for a few, the reduction was more than 30 per cent,” said Harpauer. “After discussions with SUMA, we felt that it was too much of a burden to put on those municipalities, so we are capping the reduction to ensure that no municipality will see a reduction of more than 30 per cent of their revenue sharing amount.”
Harpauer says the government will be meeting with SUMA and SARM to discuss a complete revamping of the various streams of funding municipalities receive from the province.
- City of Regina calls emergency budget meeting Monday after grants-in-lieu program cut in provincial budget
- Saskatoon council considering legal action against province over lost grants
- SUMA says government forcing cities to do their dirty work by scrapping grants-in-lieu program
The Saskatchewan Legislature continued to be dominated by debate over the fallout from the provincial budget this week.
It was the cut to grants-in-lieu to municipalities that saw mayors and councils across Saskatchewan venting outrage about the impact to their revenues.
Regina and Saskatoon held emergency meetings about their budgets and mayors Michael Fougere and Charlie Clark said it is not fair for the government to redirect 36-million dollars earmarked for cities into the province’s bank account.
Fougere had suggested a more equitable way for the province to find savings as it combats a 1.3-billion dollar deficit.
(with files from CJWW)