wo Regina daycares will plead their cases this week against property taxes after they received a shocking reassessment.
In total, five daycares in the city saw their property taxes double – and in some cases, triple – after their category was changed from residential to commercial in a 2015 reassessment.
“It’s tough enough to make ends meet, and this isn’t making it any easier,” said Colleen Schmidt, a board member for the Cathedral Area Co-operative Daycare.
“We’re dying every day just a little bit more because of this tax burden.”
Property taxes for daycares in Saskatchewan vary depending on the category: while some are taxed as residential or commercial, those located in schools aren’t taxed at all.
Schmidt said the parents at her daycare already fundraise and despite all their efforts this year, it won’t cover the new taxes. She said last year the daycare’s property taxes were around $3,500 – now they’re up to $8,000.
That’s why two Regina daycares, including Schmidt’s, are set to appeal their reassessment to the Saskatchewan Municipal Board of Revision on Tuesday.
Schmidt is also hoping for more far-reaching change – she wants to see the provincial tax code include an exemption for licensed, non-profit daycares, which she said are more like schools than a business.
The board member has already posted a petition form online in the hopes people will print, sign and send it off to the provincial government.
“I’m tremendously hopeful that they’ll hear us and they’ll understand the need for this change, and they’ll have the will to make this change,” Schmidt said.
In July, the province said it would take a look at daycare property taxes.