Effective Friday, September 17, a province-wide mandatory masking order will be implemented for all indoor public spaces. 

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2021 April

Municipalities Today is a web-based newsletter published monthly by the Ministry of Government Relations. It lists deadlines, training opportunities, services and programs that may be of interest to Saskatchewan municipal administrators.

View past editions of Municipalities Today by visiting Publications Saskatchewan.

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1. Doing Business with the Ministry of Highways

The Ministry of Highways is pleased to announce the official launch of its new Doing Business with the Ministry web site. The current site has reached its end of life and we are now transitioning to the new site, which is located on Publications Saskatchewan. The ministry chose to move to Publications Saskatchewan to be consistent with all other ministries.

The new URL for the site is www.saskatchewan.ca/highways-business. Please update your bookmarks and use this URL moving forward. You will notice a new category structure on the site. Although there is a different structure, existing documents were not revised.

The new site has many features not previously available. These include:

  • A search function
  • The ability to tag specific documents or categories for quick reference
  • Availability on any iOS or android device with an internet connection
  • A future opportunity for push notifications to users

You can download the how-to document and watch a video that outlines navigating the site and using some of its features, including creating a Saskatchewan account.

Future opportunities are in the works for live demos of the site, which will include a chance to ask questions to our Project Support Office. In the meantime, please visit the site and familiarize yourself with the new category structure and features.

If you have any questions or feedback on the new system, reach out to the Project Support Office at mhiknowledgewarehouse@gov.sk.ca.

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2. Municipal Administrators' Corner

Key Tasks in April and May

  • The deadline for the completion of the assessment roll and opening it to the public is May 1, 2021.
  • If council wishes to extend the time for assessment roll preparation (no more than 90 days), they must pass a bylaw prior to May 30, 2021 to do so.
    • If a bylaw is passed, notify the Saskatchewan Assessment Management Agency (SAMA) and the board of revision (BoR) secretary in writing of the extension. A sample Extension of Time - Assessment Roll bylaw is available on Publications Saskatchewan.
  • The assessment roll must be open for inspection a minimum of 60 days; however, council may choose to pass a resolution for it to be open to inspection for a longer period.
  • Assessment appeals (including the appeal fee paid) are to be sent to the BoR secretary.
  • The BoR has 180 days from the publication of the assessment roll in the Saskatchewan Gazette to complete and decide on all assessment appeals.
  • Tax notices can be sent out while the assessment roll is still open. Council must adopt an operating and capital budget prior to authorizing a tax levy. The municipality has until August 15, 2021 to prepare their tax roll.
  • By the 10th of each month: Submit school tax collections directly to the Minister of Finance.

Different Roles in Assessment

When it comes to assessment, council is only responsible for:

  • Appointing members to the BoR prior to the assessment roll opening;
  • Appointing the secretary to the BoR; and
  • Setting appeal fees.

The assessor, who is the administrator unless council appoints otherwise, is ultimately responsible for assessment. They must work closely with their appraiser (in most cases SAMA) to gather the information required to prepare the assessment roll in accordance with legislation. Once the assessment roll is prepared, council uses this information to set the tax policy for the municipality.

Assessment Versus Zoning

It is important to recognize that how a property is zoned in the municipality's zoning bylaw has no bearing on the classes of property used for assessment.

The property classes are determined by the use, or in some cases intended use, of the property as defined in The Municipalities Regulations. For example, a dwelling is assessed with the residential property class although it is located in a commercially-zoned area of the municipality.

Some properties may also have more than one use (or intended use) and would be assessed with more than one property class. For example, a building used for an agricultural operation and a business operation would be assessed with both agricultural and commercial property classes, or land used as residential and agricultural would be assessed with both residential and agricultural. The appraiser would assist the assessor in determining what portion of each property would be assessed to the different applicable property classes.

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3. New Name for Building Standards and Licensing Branch

On April 1, 2021, the Ministry of Government Relations branch that oversees building codes and technical safety standards changed its name to the Building and Technical Standards Branch (BTS).

Their new name reflects the recent transfer of licence, permit and inspection services from the following organizations to the Technical Safety Authority of Saskatchewan (TSASK):

  • Gas and electrical licensing (Ministry of Government Relations)
  • Gas and electrical permit and inspection services (SaskPower)
  • Plumbing inspection services (Saskatchewan Health Authority)

Although their name has changed, BTS continues to be responsible for:

  • The development, adoption and implementation of construction codes; and
  • Legislative, regulatory and policy oversight of all technical safety programs assigned to TSASK and the Ministry of Government Relations.

Please contact the branch if you have any questions:

Building and Technical Standards Branch
Saskatchewan Ministry of Government Relations
1430 – 1855 Victoria Avenue
REGINA SK S4P 3T2
Phone: 306-787-4113
Web: www.saskatchewan.ca/btstandards
Email: btstandards@gov.sk.ca

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4. New Education Property Tax Mill Rates

As announced in the Government of Saskatchewan 2021-22 Budget, the 2021 Education Property Tax (EPT) mill rates are:

Property
Class
2021 Education Property
Tax Mill Rate
Agricultural 1.36
Residential 4.46
Commercial/Industrial 6.75
Resource 9.79

For more information about the EPT mill rate change, please read the April 6 media release or visit the Education Property Tax Mill Rates page on saskatchewan.ca.

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5. New Funding Available for Municipalities

Infrastructure Canada is now accepting applications for their new federal Green and Inclusive Community Buildings Program (GICB).

Application instructions, timelines, eligibility and evaluation criteria can be found in the Green and Inclusive Community Buildings Applicant Guide on the Government of Canada website.

Please note:

  • Applicants proposing retrofits less than $3 million can submit their application at any time. These applications will be assessed for eligibility and merit criteria and will be funded on a first-come first-served basis.
  • Larger retrofits and new builds ($3 million or greater) will be assessed for eligibility and merit criteria on a competitive basis, with the first round of submissions closing on July 6, 2021.

For more information about this Government of Canada program, please visit Green and Inclusive Community Buildings or email infc.gicbp-pbcvi.infc@canada.ca.

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