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2016 December

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1. PTIC-CWWF Infrastructure Funding Programs Now Accepting Applications

The Government of Saskatchewan is now accepting online applications for infrastructure projects under both the Clean Water and Wastewater Fund (CWWF), and the Provincial Territorial Infrastructure Component (PTIC) of the New Building Canada Fund.

To streamline the funding process, you can apply to both the PTIC and CWWF programs at the same time by submitting one application.  If your municipality wishes its previous PTIC application to be considered, you will need to resubmit a new form to meet requirements. 

The application form — as well as information concerning program criteria and eligibility — can be found on the page at www.saskatchewan.ca/government/municipal-administration/funding-finances-and-asset-management/funding/nbcf  

Applications must be received by the Government of Saskatchewan before noon on Monday, January 23, 2017, to be considered for funding under these two programs.

If you have any questions about the PTIC and CWWF application process, contact Municipal Infrastructure and Finance by email at infra@gov.sk.ca or by phone at 306-787-1262. 

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2. Changes to Municipal Compliance Strategy under the Gas Tax Fund

At an Oversight Committee meeting held in September, members unanimously approved changes to the Municipal Compliance Strategy (Strategy) currently in place under the Gas Tax Fund. This included adding to the Strategy two significant terms and conditions that municipalities are required to fulfil under their Municipal Gas Tax Fund Agreement (Agreement):

  • Having an approved Infrastructure Investment Plan in place under the new Agreement, as per Annex B, Section 3.3 of the Agreement; and
  • Submitting asset management reports (i.e. survey, progress reports), as per Schedule D, Section 5.2 of the Agreement.

Members also agreed to allow municipalities that have been removed from the program to re-enter and participate in the program during census years when allocations are being recalculated. For example, a municipality removed in the first five years from 2014-15 to 2018-19 may be allowed to re-enter and participate in the program in the last half of their agreement from 2019-20 to 2023-24. Prior to participating, municipalities will need to be compliant according to the strategy, and repay any funds owing. Municipalities that did not participate in the first five years will also have the opportunity to enter the program.

To learn more, read the updated strategy online under Gas Tax Fund.

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3. Text With 911 Now Available for Saskatchewan Residents Who Are Hearing or Speech Impaired

In late November, Minister of Government Relations Donna Harpauer announced the launch of Text With 911, a service where residents who are deaf, hard of hearing or speech impaired can register their cellphone so they can communicate with Sask911 operators via text message.

Text With 911 is only available for those who are deaf, hard of hearing or speech impaired. These residents’ family members and close friends may also register their cell phones in case their loved one needs to use their phone in an emergency situation.

If you wish to learn more about Text With 911, view the YouTube video below or read the November 24 news release about Text With 911.

To begin the registration process, contact your wireless service provider or visit textwith911.ca/en/wireless-service-providers/ and choose your wireless service provider. 

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4. Property Tax Percentages of Value for 2017 Revaluation

Last month, the province announced the percentages of value (POV) that will be applied for the upcoming 2017 revaluation for property taxes.

What is Percentages of Value (POV)?

POV are used to calculate taxable assessments from assessed values, calculated by assessment appraisers.  Taxable assessments are used by the municipal council to implement tax policy.

Changes to POV impact the tax level among property classes.  Municipal councils have tax tools available to them to mitigate the shifts and remain revenue neutral if that is a desired goal.  More information is available in the ministry’s publication titled Municipal Tax Policy.

Saskatchewan’s Taxable Assessment Value

The value of Saskatchewan taxable assessment has increased from $108 billion in 2013 to $146 billion in 2017.  The largest increases are to farm land which has seen values increase by more than 100 per cent over the four year period.

In 2016, the Ministry of Government Relations carried out extensive consultations on the projected revaluation-driven tax shifts.  These consultations helped to determine whether adjustments are required for the 2017 Revaluation and to make sure property owners are treated fairly while promoting economic growth in communities across Saskatchewan.  Government’s objective is not to mitigate all shifts due to revaluation.  There were some significant shifts in 2009 and 2013 to oil and gas, seasonal residential and other residential properties that were not mitigated.  The purpose of revaluation is to update assessments to reflect what has happened in the market place.

2017 Percentages of Value

 
  POV    POV
 Increases    Non-arable (range) land or pasture land



2017 POV: 45%     (2013 POV: 40%)

Reason:

In 2005, the POV on pasture land was set at the previous level in support of producers managing the Bovine spongiform encephalopathy (BSE) crisis.  The pasture POV was updated to reflect current values and to mitigate some of the tax shift onto cultivated agricultural properties.

   Residential, multi-unit residential and seasonal residential



2017 POV: 80%     (2013 POV: 70%)

Reason:

Increasing the residential POV to 80% will provide commercial/industrial properties in some urban areas relief from a projected municipal tax increase due to revaluation, and support economic activity.  Residential properties will still receive a municipal tax benefit from revaluation, with the amount depending on the property type and municipality.

No Change   

Cultivated agricultural land

2017 POV: 55% (2013 POV: 55%)

 

Commercial/Industrial

2017 POV: 100% (2013 POV: 100%)

The Saskatchewan Assessment Management Agency (SAMA) and other assessment service providers will be using the new POV to calculate taxable assessments for municipalities.

Further information about municipal tax tools and general municipal administration may be obtained by contacting a Municipal Advisor with the Ministry of Government Relations at 306-787-2680 or email muninfo@gov.sk.ca

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5. Borrow Videos from the Public Safety Education Resource Library

Municipalities can borrow materials from Emergency Management and Fire Safety’s Public Safety Education Resource Library to teach their citizens how to be safe. Some of the many topics available include how to prevent fires at home, learn safe cooking habits, prevent unintentional injuries, plan for natural disasters, or discourage arson by adolescents. The videos and other material are categorized by specific age groups (pre-school students, youth, families, employees, older adults, etc.)

To see what is available for borrowing, go to the Library’s catalogue found in the Government of Saskatchewan’s Publication Centre or call 306-787-2688.

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6. Snow Loads on Rooftops

Although last winter was mild, most Saskatchewan residents have experienced prolonged snowfalls that lead to deep snow on rooftops and around buildings. High snow loads on roofs can create a risk to personal safety or building damage and collapse.

To learn more about the dangers winter can bring, read the Snow Loads on Roof found in the Building Standards Advisories section in the Government of Saskatchewan’s Publication Centre.

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7. Updating the Municipal Directory System

The Municipal Directory System (MDS) is a provincial database the public can access from www.saskatchewan.ca to locate a municipality’s contact information, find out the hours the municipal office is open, as well as learn the names of elected officials who serve that community.  

Municipalities are encouraged to update their information in MDS whenever there is a change to this information. For security purposes, each municipality is provided with password protected access to their record in MDS.

If you have forgotten your username or password, or if you are encountering difficulties entering in your municipal information, please contact muninfo@gov.sk.ca.

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