“The City should consider “transformational changes” in the way it operates to reduce expenses and should not even be considering a tax increase,” said Chamber of Commerce CEO Larry Fladager.
“Municipal officials are not doing enough to find cost savings in Prince Albert, and this has a negative effect on business. The provincial government is looking at what it calls ‘transformational change’ to cut costs, and we would suggest the City of Prince Albert should take a similar approach.”
The Chamber’s position is supported by the Canadian Federation of Business report on property tax gaps across Saskatchewan, which found that Prince Albert has one of the highest commercial property tax gaps in Saskatchewan for properties assessed at $200,000. Calling it “the most unfair tax system” in the province, the CFIB report shows Prince Albert business owners pay the highest amount of property tax ($6,350), and had the highest property tax gap at 3.92.
The report also notes that the Rural Municipalities of Buckland and Prince Albert have one of the best property tax gaps at 1.43. The RM of Prince Albert has seen significant light industrial development in recent years on the city’s southern border.
As members of City Council head into budget deliberations next week, the Chamber is once again urging them to consider moving to a fairer commercial property tax system, Fladager added.
“Strengthening and growing our current businesses and having a more competitive tax ratio will lead to growth in the community overall, and the Chamber urges City Council to do more to ease the tax burden for business in the 2017 budget year.”