Saskatoon residents face potential property tax increase

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Saskatoon residents facing potential property tax increase
WATCH: The city of Saskatoon governance and priorities committee discussed a potential increase in property taxes due to unexpected costs driving up the 2023 budget – Oct 24, 2022

The city of Saskatoon exceeded its budget for 2023 by $2.26 million due to a $4.1-million increase in fuel costs, $2.4 million due to inflation, and $1.5 million in increased natural gas spending.

“The financial landscape for the city and the world has changed significantly since the budget was originally prepared and presented in late 2021,” said Clae Hack, chief financial officer for the city of Saskatoon, told the governance and priorities committee.

“Inflationary impacts on fuel, energy, and contract costs are impacts that many organizations are dealing with, and the city is no exception,” Hack added.

If nothing changes, Hack said property taxes will increase by 0.81 per cent, leading to a property tax of 4.58 per cent in 2023.

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At the committee meeting,  Mayor Charlie Clark asked Hack if the numbers presented to committee will remain the same by the time budget deliberations commence in November.

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Hack said the city administration will do what it can to prevent a potential property tax hike.

“I believe the information presented in the report will be very similar to what’s presented at budget deliberations,” Hack said.

The difference will be that the administration continues to comb through what was originally approved for 2023 to see if they can cut anything to make up for the unexpected high expenses, Hack said.

“Whether that be deferred hiring, or some items that were approved in 2023 that could potentially be deferred as options to reduce the property tax impact, but in terms of inflationary and other expenditures and revenue pressures, I expect these numbers to be pretty consistent with what’s at budget,” he said.

The report was received as information at the governance and priorities committee on Monday.

Saskatoon’s city administration says it plans to continue to work to find potential cost reductions for the 2023 budget and will present any further recommendations at a city council meeting on Nov. 28.

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