Skip to main content

Saskatchewan municipalities during COVID-19: what are they doing to support you?

Just like the federal and provincial governments, municipal governments also have a crucial role to play in helping your business survive the COVID-19 pandemic. Municipalities can—and should—put in place relief measures to support you, your employees and your business.

CFIB is fighting for support for your business from all levels of government. Our recommendations are directly based on feedback gathered from our members via regular surveys. Here’s what we’re telling municipal governments in Saskatchewan they can do to help—and here’s what they’ve done so far.

Saskatchewan-specific recommendations for municipalities

We are asking municipalities in Saskatchewan to:

  • Provide commercial property owners with a property tax holiday for a minimum of three months, or at least waive all interest and penalties for unpaid property tax bills for a minimum of three months (e.g. City of Saskatoon has extended the 2020 Property Tax deadline by three months to September 30, 2020)
  • Waive all interest and penalties for unpaid water and utility billing for a minimum period of 90 days. (E.g. City of Regina is allowing residents and businesses to defer payments toward their water utility account for up to six months with no late payment charges or interest charges.)
  • Delay any planned tax and fee increases. 
  • Do not introduce any new bylaws or regulations, other than those needed to address COVID-19. 
  • Accelerate approval for construction projects and home renovations to keep people working. 
  • Pay money owing to my business quickly (tax credits, contracts with government, etc.).
  • Cease routine audits.
  • Urge landlords to provide accommodation and leniency to commercial tenants for delayed rental payments. 
  • Introduce a Noise Bylaw exemption to allow for 24-hour service delivery.
     

Which municipalities have put in place relief measures already?

Here’s what municipalities across Saskatchewan have done so far to help small business. 

Estevan

Utility payments: 

The City has made the following changes to current utility collections activities:

  • Utility disconnections due to arrears will be suspended until September 1, 2020;
  • Late payment charges will be suspended on all utility accounts until September 1, 2020; and
  • The city will continue to generate utility bills, reminders and other related notices for customers who are in arrears to keep them informed of their current situation.

Property taxes: 

On your notice, your 2020 Property Tax due date will still show July 31, 2020, however:

  • The City is extending a two-month grace period to provide you with additional time to pay your 2020 Property Tax.
  • You will not incur any late payment penalties on your 2020 Property Tax if you pay the full amount due by September 30, 2020.

For more information, please see the City’s website.

Melville

Property taxes & Utility payments:

In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, the City of Melville is providing flexibility and short term financial relief for residents and business owners.

The following payment deferral program has been set in place:

  • Utility connections due to arrears are suspended until September 30, 2020
  • Late payment charges and interest charges are suspended on all utility and accounts receivable accounts until September 30, 2020.
  • Extended  the 2020 property tax deadline to September 30, 2020 & no penalties will be incurred before this date on current taxes.
     
Moose Jaw

Utility payments: 

Utility disconnections for non-payment be discontinued effective immediately and collections processes be relaxed and focus on longer-term payment arrangements.

As well, businesses and residents will now have 12 months to pay their utility bills and 15 months to pay their property taxes without penalty.

Property taxes: 

May 11: City Council cancelled City’s planned 2.3% property tax increase in 2020 with a spending reduction of over $670,000.

Seizures of properties for non-payment of taxes be discontinued effective immediately.

Small Business Support Program:

The City has introduced a Small Business Support program that gives a $500.00, one-time property tax credit to Moose Jaw businesses holding Category A or Category B business licenses. The funds (estimated over $150,000) will come from the City’s Accumulated Surplus. Applications will open on Friday, May 15 on the City of Moose Jaw's website.

For more information please see the City’s website

North Battleford

Property taxes:

Due to the unprecedented financial and social impacts by the COVID-19 pandemic, the City of North Battleford has postponed the deadline to pay 2020 property taxes. August 31st, 2020 is the new due date to pay property taxes without penalty.
 

Prince Albert

Property Taxes:

Property owners that have suffered serious financial hardship due to COVID-19 as a result of employment income interruption or business impact will be able to establish that they qualify under City Council’s COVID-19 response deferral program to have their tax payment deadline moved to September 30, 2020.  Impacted taxpayers must submit to the City by no later than June 15, 2020 at 4:00p.m a signed form establishing that they meet the criteria for property tax deferral. Declaration forms will be available on the City’s website and will be able to be submitted electronically.

For those who do not meet the criteria of serious financial impact or that do not apply, the tax deadline will remain at June 30, 2020.

Utility Payments: 

The City will continue to bill for utility services as normal, however, effective April 1, 2020, the City will cease charging penalties on water accounts in arrears until September 30, 2020. A reminder letter indicating a past due account will still be mailed. Prior to the account approaching the three month mark, the property will be provided with notice to encourage the account holder to contact the water department to arrange for a payment plan. 

Parking Regulations: 

The City has relaxed parking regulations and will not be issuing tickets for expired meters in the downtown or timed limitations in residential areas.

For more information please see the City’s website.  
 

Regina

Utility payments: 

Council has approved the Utility Payment Deferral Program to enable residents and businesses to defer payments toward their water utility account for up to six months with no late payment charges or interest charges applied.

The City is suspending all payment collection activity on overdue utility accounts, and no water service will be shut off for residents with outstanding account balances or who are unable to pay. Residents are also encouraged to contact the City to discuss a customized payment plan that will provide the financial flexibility they need.

Property taxes:

As an added measure to ease financial concerns for residents, the City is posting postpone the deadline to pay 2020 property taxes. Tax notices will be issued on schedule in May but property owners will have until after September 30 before penalties are applied.

For more information please see the City of Regina’s COVID-19 website.
 

Saskatoon

Utility payments: 

The City has made the following changes to current utility collections activities:

  • Utility disconnections due to arrears will be suspended until September 30, 2020;
  • Late payment charges will be suspended on all utility accounts until September 30, 2020; and

The City will continue to generate utility bill reminders and other related notices for customers who are in arrears to keep them informed of their current situation.

Have utility-related questions? Please call the city’s Revenue Customer Service Representatives at 306-975-2400.

Property taxes: 

The City has extended the 2020 Property Tax deadline to September 30, 2020, allowing additional time for residents' to pay their 2020 Property Tax. On your notice, your 2020 Property Tax due date will still show as June 30, 2020.

However:

  • The City is extending a three-month grace period to provide you with additional time to pay your 2020 Property Tax.
  • You will not incur any late payment penalties on your 2020 Property Tax if you pay the full amount due by September 30, 2020.

For more information, please see the City website.

Swift Current

Utility payments: 

Effective immediately, the City’s Financial Services Department has:

  • Suspended Utility disconnections due to non-payment until September 30, 2020.
  • Suspended late payment charges on all Utility accounts until September 30, 2020.
  • Suspended all collection activities.

Property taxes: 

The City’s 2020 Property Tax Notices will be delivered to property owners by the end of May 2020, and the Due Date on these notices will be changed to September 30, 2020

The City has extended a three-month grace period to provide commercial and residential customers with additional time to pay 2020 Property Taxes. The original due date was June 30, 2020.

For more information, please see the City’s COVID-19 website
 

RM of Edenwold

Property taxes:

RM of Edenwold council approved a 15 per cent reduction in 2020 mill rates for all residential, industrial/commercial and agricultural properties at the May 5 council meeting.                                       

These reductions are in addition to early tax payment discounts and council's previous decision (April 14) that no late fees or penalty fees will be charged on utilities for the remainder of the year.

For more information, please visit the RM's website.

FAQ on COVID-19

We’re dedicated to supporting your business through this difficult time by compiling answers to the most common COVID-19 questions and keeping you up to date on the latest relief measures both the federal government and the Saskatchewan government. Visit our Small Business Help Center to learn more.