Sask. at “final stage” in school tax cuts on ag land

Saskatchewan has reached the “final stage” of its cuts to education property taxes on farmland, the province said Wednesday.

Speaking to the Saskatchewan Association of Rural Municipalities (SARM) convention in Regina Wednesday, provincial Finance Minister Ken Krawetz confirmed a cut in the agricultural mill rate this year from 7.08 to 3.91, as previously pledged.

“Once fully implemented in the upcoming budget, the education portion of property taxes on agricultural land will have been reduced by a total of 80 per cent” from when the funding formula for the province’s schools was altered in 2009, he said.

The government in March that year rolled out its plan to cut and cap education mill rates by setting provincewide education tax rates for agricultural as well as commercial and residential properties.

“This includes an additional $31.3 million reduction in 2011. At the same time, we are committed to a corresponding increase in the provincial share of education funding.”

Municipalities will receive 2011-12 funding of $216.8 million, with RMs and organized hamlets seeing an increase to $62.9 million, up $14.3 million, he said.

One point of the provincial sales tax (PST) will go to municipalities in the 2011-12 budget, the province said.

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