The Weyburn and District Chamber of Commerce is continuing to press for property tax reform in Saskatchewan and, at the request of its Members, has made it priority one for the Chamber.
"Since the start of this year, we've been working on this property tax file, and although the reassessment is behind us, we remain committed to reform," said Chamber Manager Jeff Richards.
"Minister of Government Relations Jim Reiter has requested the input of the Chamber on a Property Tax Tool Review, and we have made a submission to his office," added Richards. "Our message to the Ministry was one of simplification, timeliness, and fairness. We have recommended a two-year assessment cycle to ensure timeliness, a capped rate of 1.43 of residential to non-residential, and a program of simplification."
The Chamber stated that it feels Saskatchewan's property tax regime is needlessly complicated and lacks timeliness, which is often interpreted as punitive - largely due to its incomprehensible complexity. These things are barriers to growth and investment attraction.
The Chamber is also continuing to invest in property tax reform for its Members. "We continue to support the Canada West Foundations report - A Tax Framework for Saskatchewan's Continued Prosperity," said Richards. The Weyburn Chamber is also entering into a partnership with a few other Chambers from around the province to engage the CD Howe Institute to research and publish a report on Business & Education Taxes in Saskatchewan. "Our colleagues at the Saskatoon Chamber will be the lead on this for now," said Richards, "and once the report is completed we will be sharing it with our Members and our elected officials."
The CD Howe Institute is one of Canada's most trusted sources of essential policy intelligence with a goal to foster sound economic policies that boost economic growth and enhance opportunities throughout society.
The Chamber expects the CD Howe publication as well as the Ministry's review to be available in the late fall of this year.