Changes to the Saskatchewan government’s revenue sharing formula, providing hundreds of millions of dollars to municipalities, could come as soon as the next provincial budget.
Saskatchewan Government Relations Minister Warren Kaeding made the announcement Wednesday at the mid-term convention for the Saskatchewan Association of Rural Municipalities (SARM).
“My goal is to be able to announce changes in the upcoming budget in 2019-20,” Kaeding said.
Saskatchewan municipalities currently receive one percentage point of provincial sales tax (PST) revenue from two years prior.
In February, Kaeding stated the province would freeze revenue sharing at the 2018-19 level, meaning communities wouldn’t receive the benefits of Saskatchewan’s move to increase the PST from five to six per cent.
The 2018-19 provincial budget includes $241.1 million in revenue sharing for municipalities.
Kaeding wouldn’t confirm that the new formula would be tied to PST revenue.
“But that’s certainly been one method that’s proved to be very effective and proved to be very reliable and very predictable,” the minister said.
In addition to a higher PST, the province will also need to assess the effect of PST from cannabis sales, Kaeding said.
If revenue sharing changes don’t come in the next budget, Kaeding told SARM delegates, “improvements” to the model could happen in the 2020-21 budget.