Property taxes provide a major source of revenue to municipalities to fund essential community services such as police and fire services, recreational facilities, and infrastructure. Tax notices are mailed out in late May or early June each year, and taxes must be paid by July 31 to avoid penalties.
The City decided to eliminate discounts for early payment of taxes in 2015. The City implemented TIPPS (Tax Installment Payment Plan Service) in 2016, allowing ratepayers to have monthly payments automatically withdrawn from their bank accounts rather than making a lump sum payment. For more information on TIPPS, please view the information sheet and application form to the right.
2017 Assessment Revaluation
Every four years, all properties in Saskatchewan are reassessed in what is known as a revaluation year. The last revaluation was in 2013, when properties were assessed at their market values as of January 1, 2011. For the 2017 revaluation, all properties are assessed to their market values as at January 1, 2015. In a revaluation year, all properties will receive an assessment notice.
Assessment notices were mailed on March 16, 2017. Once the notices are mailed, there is a 60 day period during which assessments can be appealed and changes made to the assessment roll. Appeals are reviewed by the Board of Revision, which is an independent body from the City. View the assessment roll notice here.
For more information about reading your assessment notice, how assessments work, or making an appeal, please view the documents to the right under the 2017 Revaluation heading.
Property taxes are determined by multiplying the taxable assessment amount (shown on your notice of assessment) by the mill rates, which are set each year. The municipal mill rate is set by council in the Tax Rate Bylaw and the education mill rate is set by the province. To determine what the municipal mill rates will be, the City first calculates how much property tax revenue is needed for operating and capital costs for the year, and what portion of property taxes are to be collected from commercial and residential property owners. The total revenue required is then divided by the taxable assessment, with the result being the applicable mill rate.
Municipalities may also apply mill rate factors, which are used to redistribute the amount of total taxes paid by each property class, and adopt a minimum or base tax. This information must all be included in the Tax Rate Bylaw (which can be viewed to the right).
Example of a Tax Calculation for a Residential Property:
218,750 = Assessed Value 175,000 = Taxable Assessed Value (80% of Assessed Value for Residential Properties) 6.977 = 2017 Municipal Mill Rate 0.764 = 2017 Mill Rate Factor for Residential Properties 869.83 = Base Tax on Land and Improvements 869.83 + [(175,000 x 6.977 x 0.764)/1,000] = Municipal Tax Calculation $1,802.65 = Municipal Taxes 4.12 = 2017 School Mill Rate for Residential Properties (175,000 x 4.12)/1000 = School Tax Calculation $721.00 = School Taxes 125.00 = Long Term Care Facility Levy $2648.65 = Total 2017 Taxes (Municipal + School + LTC Levy)
A minimum tax may be established to increase the amount of taxation revenue generated from lower assessed properties within one or more property classifications. For 2014, a minimum tax of $650.00 was applied to all residential properties with improvements. Due to the increased base tax, in 2015 the minimum tax was set at $331.75. For 2016, this has been further reduced to $241.00. When there is a minimum tax in place, your taxes will be the greater of either the minimum tax or the value calculated using the ad valorum method shown above [(Taxable Assessed Value x Mill Rate)/1000].
A base tax is a flat fee added to the municipal portion of each tax bill. The base tax reflects the philosophy that all properties benefit equally from some services (fire, police, roads, etc.) regardless of the assessed value of the property, and so all properties should contribute equally to these services.
In 2015, a base tax was applied to both residential and commercial properties, and was set at $167.69 for land and $503.06 for improvements. For 2016, the base tax is set at $390.82 for land and $390.81 for improvements. Under the Taxation Policy adopted by Council (which can be viewed at the link to the right), the goal is for the revenue raised through the base tax to eventually be set at 40% of the total municipal levy.
In 2015 the City began implementing a base tax on each legal parcel (how many parcels make up a property will be determined by ISC (Information Services Corporation) and whether those parcels are determined to be legal size as per the zoning bylaw). Owners have the ability to amalgamate adjacent lots through ISC to reduce the number of base tax they pay on their property. For more information on this process, Click Here or contact ISC.
Long Term Care Facility Levy
The Long Term Care Facility Levy was first introduced in 2013 in order to fund the City's $4,000,000 portion of the Pioneer Lodge replacement. A flat fee of $125.00 per residence, or per unit for duplexes and multi-unit properties, is added to the taxes to cover this cost. These funds are placed in a reserve account and can only be used for this specific project. It is expected that there will be $820,000 in reserve by the end of 2016. This levy will remain in place until the City's share (including any borrowing required) is paid off.
Where Property Tax Dollars Go
Below is a graph that shows a rough breakdown of how revenue raised from property tax dollars is spent. Budgets and Financial Statements are also available on the Financial Statements page.