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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 SaskBuilds and Procurement (formerly Central Services). This policy took effect on January 1, 1998.
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 SaskBuilds and Procurement. 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 SaskBuilds and Procurement 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 to properties owned or managed by the Ministry of SaskBuilds and Procurement, particularly coverall sheds 80' x 80' or larger, are not eligible under the program.
No payment will be made in lieu of business taxes since the business tax is levied on business occupants.
Throughout the municipal taxation year, the Ministry of SaskBuilds and Procurement 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.
Inquiries about grants-in-lieu for the RCMP's Provincial Public Safety Telecommunications Network (PPSTN) Radio Towers should be directed to the Saskatchewan Public Safety Agency at 306-787-1562 or by email at SPSA@gov.sk.ca. PPSTN also leases towers from other entities such as SaskTel. Inquiries regarding those towers should be directed to those entities.
Inquiries about Crown corporation grants-in-lieu should be directed to the Crown Investments Corporation or the individual Crown corporation.
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