June 18, 2019 12:21 pm

Proposed indicative property tax increase rejected by Saskatoon city committee

A report from administration recommended a property tax increase of 3.94 per cent in 2020 and 4.17 per cent in 2021 to maintain current services in Saskatoon.

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A Saskatoon city committee has rejected a proposed multi-year indicative property tax rate put forward by administration.

A report from administration to the city’s governance and priorities committee recommended a property tax increase of 3.94 per cent in 2020 and 4.17 per cent in 2021 to maintain current services.

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READ MORE: City of Saskatoon expects regular annual property tax increases

It also included an additional one per cent toward a city-wide organics program and the landfill’s operating deficit and shortfall.

The committee rejected the recommendations on Monday and tasked administration to produce a budget less than its proposed increase.

“Council narrowly rejected those numbers and said please go back to the drawing board, we’d like you to sharpen the pencil and take a look at a few opportunities to bring those tax increase numbers down,” said Ward  10 Coun. Zach Jefferies.

READ MORE: Ward changes possible for 2020 Saskatoon municipal election

The city’s chief financial officer, Kerry Tarasoff, said administration will look at ways to “shift resources within the budget.”

“This process provides administration with a guideline to prepare the budget in advance of final deliberations in late November,” Tarasoff said in a release.

“When considering the phase-in of the organics program and the deficit in waste operations, we’ll be looking at the options available to us to reduce the impact on property tax rates and related service-level impacts.”

City officials said the move to an indicative property tax rate provides greater certainty to residents, supports the city’s longer-term goals and objectives, and delivers improved financial stability, transparency, and accountability.

A revised report will head back to committee in August.

WATCH (March 2019): Saskatoon city council pushes back organics collection to 2023

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