Premier Brad Wall announced today that the government will hold the line on education property tax in 2013.
The overall value of property in Saskatchewan has increased 67 per cent over the past four years, from $58 billion in 2009 to $97 billion in 2013, thanks to Saskatchewan’s strong and growing economy.
Wall said while that’s good news for property owners, it could have meant significant property tax increases if the government had left the education property tax rates unchanged.
“A few weeks ago, Government Relations Minister Jim Reiter said that our government would take a close look at the impact of this huge increase in property values on property taxes,” Wall said. “Today, I am pleased to announce that despite some significant pressures on our provincial budget, we will hold the line on education property taxes in 2013.”
Wall said that means education tax rates will be reduced significantly in next week’s provincial budget to keep the overall impact on property taxes revenue-neutral in terms of re-assessment.
“That means some property owners will still see their taxes go up because their assessment went up more than average, while others will see their property taxes go down,” Wall said. “But overall, we are holding the line on education property tax mill rates.”
Wall said that with a growing population and increasing school enrollments, the government may have to look at adjusting the education property tax in the years ahead.
“When our government took office, the education property tax funded about 60 per cent of K-12 school costs with the remainder being funded by the Government of Saskatchewan,” Wall said. “In 2009, our government delivered the largest education property tax cut in Saskatchewan history. As a result, education taxes now fund about 35 per cent of K-12 school costs.
“We will want to sit down with SUMA, SARM and SSRA and hear from Saskatchewan people in advance of next year's budget on how we go forward in terms of the need for financial support for increasing enrollment and education infrastructure demands.”