Saskatoon homeowners will have to recalculate their taxes again, but this time it’ll save them a few dollars.
Property value reassessments – and a shift in the business tax ratio approved at council Monday – have residential taxes increasing by only 1.9 per cent for 2017.
That translates to about a $35 increase in the average taxpayer’s property tax bill, based on an assessed home value of $325,000.
In December council approved a 3.89 per cent tax hike for residents, or a $66 average increase.
It’s a sort of compromise as businesses under the original plan would have had to pay $1.75 for every $1 in taxes paid by residents.
Reassessment values combined with the ratio left businesses facing an average 16 per cent property tax increase, while residents would’ve seen their bills drop by one per cent.
Council decided in a 9-1 vote Monday to lower the business tax ratio to $1.59 for every $1 in residential taxes, reducing the average business property tax increase to 9.7 per cent.
Mayor Charlie Clark campaigned on maintaining the 1.75 ratio, but voted in favour of the changes.
“What I campaigned on very clearly was for council to not have a policy where we’re actively shifting property taxes from businesses on to residents,” he said. “But what’s happened is the ratio has shifted the burden the other way significantly.”
Clark said the new ratio still shifted the percentage of taxes paid towards businesses, but only slightly.
Before the reassessments, residents represented 70 per cent of tax revenue for the city. Now they represent 69 per cent.
Tax percentages can still change until council’s April 24 meeting, when the final mill rate is set and tax notices are prepared.
If the city isn’t able to reverse the province’s decision to cancel a grants in lieu program that provides $11.4 million in funding for Saskatoon, taxes could rise an additional 5.6 per cent.