The City of Saskatoon proposed a 7.26 % tax increase at a special council meeting at the beginning of December. City Officials say that the need comes from the challenges and growth in the city to repair a strained road system. Another portion of the increase was proposed to go to the Saskatoon Police Service and the remaining portion to fire and civic services.
After a two day meeting, the City has approved a 7.43% tax increase.
The new budget includes a sizeable portion to repave roads, fix potholes, and clearing snow from Saskatoon residential streets. Also included is money for traffic sound walls, an small increase to fire and police services.
All these extras come at a big cost to the city’s taxpayers however the City Councillors insist the increase is necessary to avoid the state of the roads we saw last year. It’s a direct response to the needs and concerns of fellow Saskatonians.
According to the Canadian Taxpayers Federation the increase is out of line. The federation says that the city should have looked internally for savings rather than turning to taxpayer’s wallets. Their recommendation was to put new City employees in a less costly type of pension plan. They also suggest looking at the gap between how much government workers make for doing a service vs. how much other people outside of the government make for doing the same thing. There are savings to be had there.
Homeowner’s in Saskatoon will see taxes increase for example $110 on a home that is assessed at $325,000. In 2013, taxes increased 4.99% and 3.99% in 2012.
Let’s just hope that we get what we pay for.
Saskatoon real estate agent
Century 21 Fusion