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By Shawna Burke-Martin, Senior Director | December 14, 2020

In these final weeks of 2020, we are all preparing for the new year and new assessments.

Saskatchewan Assessment Management Agency (SAMA) will release the provincial assessment in January 2021; the first year in the next four-year assessment cycle. They have already shared the revaluation taxable assessment trends including an average increase of 6% to Oil and Gas assets and Mines, 16% to Pipelines, 24% to Railway, and 15% to Commercial properties. Residential properties saw an average decrease of 7%.

Offsetting the increases to Non-Residential values, the Province of Saskatchewan released the following on Friday, December 4th: For 2021, the percentage of value for commercial, industrial, elevator, railway, resource and pipeline properties will be 85 per cent compared to 100 percent set in 2017 when the previous revaluation occurred.”

The full press release can be read here.

The first thing that likely comes to mind for property owners in the included asset categories is “15% property tax reduction – Great!”

The actions of the provincial government are intended to provide relief to businesses and industries in the province. “The adjustment also recognizes the COVID-19 challenges faced by businesses and industries, so they remain competitive to help create jobs for Saskatchewan families.” ~ Hon. Don McMorris – Minister, Government Relations, SK. Relief will rely on the province determining the 2021 provincial education mill rates and the will of Councils to maintain or reduce municipal mill rates.

This provincial initiative – Government Relations, not SAMA – more closely aligns the non-residential percentage of value (POV) to the residential POV; currently 80% and being maintained in 2021.

Before non-residential owners adjust their property tax accruals in SK for 2021, consider the following:

  • The projected variance to each property type through the SAMA revaluation. The 15% POV reduction will be partially or fully offset by any revaluation increases
  • 2021 mill rates will not be released until the Spring of 2021 in each municipality
  • Municipalities have access to three legislated tax tools that can be applied individually or together, to impact any one or more class of property. Tax tools are typically finalized at the same time as the municipal mill rate
  • In addition to the municipal mill rates, the provincial education rate has yet to be confirmed and shared. The provincial education mill rate has not changed (see table below) in four years and there has been some expectation of an increase in 2021. We know that the provincial educators have negotiated pay increases which will have to be considered in the provinces funding requirements for education as well as the increase to education costs related to covid-19
  • Specific to Oil and Gas Resource properties, a few rural municipalities offered tax discounting or reduced Mill Rate Factors on their 2020 tax notices. These reductions might be a one-time incentive as oil prices have improved in the second half of 2020. The decrease to the Resource sector POV may impact those municipalities more significantly as their 2020 collected taxes were lower than initially planned

Saskatchewan Provincial Education Mill Rate 2017-2020

  2020 Education Mill Rate 2019 Education Mill Rate 2018 Education Mill Rate 2017 Education Mill Rate
Agricultural 1.43 1.43 1.43 1.43
Residential 4.12 4.12 4.12 4.12
Commercial/Industrial 6.27 6.27 6.27 6.27
Resource 9.68 9.68 9.68 9.68
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