Last year’s budget still haunts taxpayers
The Sask. Party 2017 budget is the gift that keeps on giving. A year after that disastrous budget was released, Saskatchewan people are still getting hit with new tax increases.
As municipalities roll out their budgets for the upcoming fiscal year, a common theme is emerging: taxpayers are now being forced to pay for the provincial government’s mismanagement through city tax increases that are directly linked to Sask. Party budget cuts.
Cities and towns are feeling the pain. Last year’s provincial budget cut grants-in-lieu of property taxes for provincial Crowns. Tens of millions in revenue, on which cities were relying was clawed back by the province.
Saskatoon was forced to raise taxes by 4.7 per cent and scrap plans to move ahead with muchneeded improvements to snow and ice removal. Regina posted a 4.3 per cent tax hike, on top of earlier announced cuts to garbage collection and other services. Moose Jaw had to hike taxes by 6.4 per cent, and faces the prospect of a steep deficit next year. A significant chunk of Swift Current’s whopping 13.14 per cent tax increase is due to provincial cuts. Yorkton lost $1.7 million and had to boost property taxes by 4.5 per cent.
Even if the next provincial budget is more reasonable, citizens and taxpayers will continue to pay for the Sask. Party budget blunders for years to come.
Roseann Strelezki, Dorintosh