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Grants in Lieu of Property Taxes

The province is constitutionally exempt from paying taxes to municipalities. However, in the
1998-99 Budget, the province announced that it would begin payment of grants-in-lieu to municipalities in an amount equal to the general property tax levy for properties owned or managed by the Ministry of Central Services. This policy took effect on January 1, 1998.

1. Program Details

Grants-in-lieu are grants based on tax notices, not an actual payment of taxes. Grants are based on the previous year’s tax notices for properties owned or managed by the Ministry of Central Services. If the property is sold or becomes ineligible, the grant is discontinued at the time of the change regardless of the previous year’s property tax notice.  Since the payments are grants, the government can never be considered in arrears on taxes at any time.  

Health facilities, educational facilities and museums currently owned or managed by the Ministry of Central Services are exempt from a grants-in-lieu payment. Examples include Saskatchewan Polytechnic (formerly SIAST), regional colleges, Crown-owned health institutions, facilities occupied by a health district and regional care facilities. In 2002, provincial museum properties were added to the list of excluded properties, including Regina’s Royal Saskatchewan Museum and Government House.

Improvements made by the Ministry of Highways and Infrastructure to properties owned or managed by the Ministry of Central Services, particularly coverall sheds 80’ x 80’ or larger, are not eligible under the program.

No payment can be made in lieu of business taxes since business taxes are only levied on business enterprises; provincial government activities do not fit under the definition of business in the municipal Acts. Therefore, special levies such as Business Improvement District (BID) levies are not included in grants-in-lieu payments.

Throughout the municipal taxation year, the Ministry of Central Services receives and processes municipal property tax bills for payment of grants-in-lieu. Payments are made through the Municipal Infrastructure and Finance branch of the Ministry of Government Relations by the end of June, subject to Cabinet approval.

Grants-in-lieu are based on policy rather than legislation.

2. RCMP Radio Towers

Inquiries about grants-in-lieu for the RCMP's Provincial Public Safety Telecommunications Network (PPSTN) Radio Towers should be directed to the Government of Saskatchewan's Emergency Management and Fire Safety branch at (306) 787-1562. PPSTN also leases towers from other entities such as SaskTel. Inquiries regarding those towers should be directed to those entities.


3. Crown Corporations

Inquiries about Crown corporation grants-in-lieu should be directed to the Crown Investments Corporation or the individual Crown corporation.

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