The 2023 Tax Bylaws were adopted on April 11th. Property tax notices will be mailed out by the end of May. If you have not received your notice by the end of May, please contact City Hall.
Why are my taxes different from my neighbours?
Each property is assessed according to the guidelines established by The Cities Act and the Saskatchewan Assessment Management Association (SAMA). Properties have different assessments based on these guidelines. Things such as building size, lot size, construction quality, style, condition or effective age of any buildings on your property can influence your property’s fair tax value.
Assessments are updated every four years, and whenever there is a substantial change to your property. Assessments may also be updated through a random audit. If there has been no change to your assessment from the previous year, you will not receive an assessment notice.
What are property taxes used for?
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. Each year, tax rates are set by determining the amount of revenue needed to provide services and dividing that by the taxable properties in the community.
Some services, like recreation, are partially funded through user fees and grants. Others, like road maintenance, are primarily funded through property taxes. Annual budgets and Financial Statements are also available on the Financial Statements page.
How are property taxes calculated?
Property taxes are determined by multiplying the taxable assessment amount (shown on your notice of assessment) by the mill rate and mill rate factors, which are set each year. The municipal mill rate and other tax tools like the mill rate factors, base tax, etc. are set by Council in the Tax Rate Bylaw each year. The education mill rate is set by the province annually. To determine what the municipal tax rates will need to be, the City first calculates how much property tax revenue is needed for operating and capital costs for the year based on the approved budget, 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.
Tools like mill rate factors and base taxes are used to redistribute the burden of tax on each property class. This information must all be included in the Tax Rate Bylaw.
Assessed Value = 218,750
Example Taxable Assessed Value = $175,000 (80% of Assessed Value for Residential Properties)
Mill Rate = 7.542
Mill Rate Factor = 0.7637
Base Tax on Land and Improvements = $1065.00
Long Term Care (LTC) Facility Levy =$125.00
FORMULA: Base Tax + LTC Levy + [ (Taxable Assessed Value x Mill Rate / 1000 ) x Mill Rate Factor ]= Municipal Taxes
$1065.00 + $125.00 [ (175,000 x 7.542/1000) x 0.7637 ] = $2,197.98
School Mill Rate = 4.54
FORMULA: Taxable Assessed Value x Mill Rate / 1000 = School Taxes
175,000 x 4.54/1000 =$794.50
Municipal Taxes : $2,197.98
School Taxes: $794.50
Total Taxes Due: $2,992.48
What is the Long Term Care 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 Community 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 just over $1.8 million in reserve by the end of 2020. This levy will remain in place until the City's share (including any borrowing required) is paid off.
Construction on the new facility started in 2020 and is expected to be completed in fall of 2021. The City's portion of these capital costs will be payable to the province in 2021.
What is the base tax?
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. The effect of a base tax is to reduce the difference between the taxes paid by the highest and lowest assessed properties.
Under the Taxation Policy adopted by Council, the goal is for the revenue raised through the base tax to be set at 40% of the total municipal levy.
Since 2015 the City has implemented 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.
Is there any discount for paying early?
No. The City eliminated the discount for prepayment in 2015.
Originally tax discounts were implemented to help improve the City’s cash flow in the early months of the year. This is no longer much of an issue. In 2013 a change to legislation meant that the City could not discount the school portion of tax bills. In 2014 (the last year discounts were offered) tax discounts cost the City $40,000 in foregone revenue. If the City is foregoing revenue from some tax payers, that burden is spread to all all tax payers.
When is the City’s taxation year?
The taxation year is the same as the calendar year, January 1 – December 31. Property taxes are due July 31st of each year.
When are tax notices mailed out?
Tax notices normally are mailed at the end of May or beginning of June of each year. If you have not received your notice by mid-June please contact City Hall to ensure we have the correct mailing address on file for you.
Why do I pay school taxes when I don’t have children in school?
The prosperity and general wellbeing of society, or the community we live in, is directly related to the education of its people. For that reason the costs of education are deemed to be the responsibility of all citizens. Your education, for example, if received in Canada, was largely paid for by the previous generation of taxpayers. People who do not own property contribute indirectly through their rental or lease payments.
Provincial legislation specifies that the funds for schools are to be collected by municipalities. However, while the City collects school taxes, the education mill rates are set by the province.
My taxes are too high, can I appeal?
You cannot appeal your taxes or your tax rate. You can only appeal your assessment to the Board of Revision if there is an error. For more information on assessments, please view the Assessment FAQs.
What happens if I don’t pay my taxes?
If your current year’s taxes remain unpaid after July 31st, you will be charged a penalty of 1% August 1. A 1% penalty will be added on September 1, October 1, November 1, and December 1. On January 1, a 9% penalty will be added to any accounts still outstanding.
If your taxes are unpaid after December 31, your property will be declared in arrears and the City will begin tax enforcement proceedings in accordance with The Tax Enforcement Act. Your property’s address and outstanding amount will be included in a newspaper advertisement of tax accounts in arrears. If your account is still in arrears 60 days after the advertisement is published, the City will register a tax lien on your property. This action gives the City the authority to pursue taking title of your property.
Where do I go if I have more questions?
If you want a copy of your latest tax notice, you can call City Hall at 306-236-3622 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
If you have questions about how your tax notice was calculated, you can email email@example.com
If you wish to provide feedback to Council about the property tax policies, you can email firstname.lastname@example.org
If you have any other questions related to taxes, please call City Hall and we will do our best to help you find the answers you are looking for.