Thursday, July 14, 2005

Sask property taxes soaring

Here is part of the release we sent out this morning...
2005 Saskatchewan Property Tax Review
· Property taxes soaring
· Re-assessment gouges taxpayers

REGINA: Taxpayers across the province are noticing a significant jump in their property tax bills in this re-assessment year and it’s no accident, says the Canadian Taxpayers Federation (CTF).

An analysis of property tax data since 1985 released today by the CTF shows that municipalities use re-assessments to hike property taxes. In the two most recent assessment years – 1997 and 2001 – property taxes jumped an average 6.9 per cent, which is double the average increase in non-assessment years.

Local taxpayers have recently paid their 2005 property taxes, which includes this year’s re-assessment. CTF phones are ringing off the hook with concerns about soaring tax bills.

“Re-assessment is not intended to be a tool for municipalities to rake in more tax dollars,” said CTF Saskatchewan director David MacLean. “The data clearly shows that municipalities are taking advantage of re-assessment to top up government coffers. One can only guess how steep the tax hike will be for 2005, but there is no reason to believe this year will be any different than the previous two re-assessment years.”

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