Three readings of the bylaw were passed at the city council meeting on Monday. According to an agenda item from Monday’s council, city administration said the new Destination Marketing Levy will help balance the city’s General Fund Operating Budget.
“For local businesses already saddled with the highest commercial tax ratio in the province, the Destination Marketing Levy is yet another tax that hampers business growth and makes it harder to do business in Prince Albert,” said Prince Albert & District Chamber of Commerce CEO Larry Fladager.
The Chamber has been calling on the city to improve the tax ratio for some time. Similar levies are in place in other cities around Saskatchewan, but those cities have a lower tax ratio, making their businesses more competitive. According to a recent report from the Canadian Federation of Independent Business, Prince Albert had “the most unfair tax system with a municipal property tax gap of 4.20 and the highest commercial property tax bill of $6,778 (per $200,000 assessment).”
Hoteliers are paying more than their fair share in Prince Albert, Fladager said.
“The Chamber would like to see an improved tax ratio for local businesses so everyone can compete fairly,” Fladager said.