Saskatchewan businesses continue paying more than their fair share of municipal taxes because the province’s largest municipalities levy an unfair property tax burden on businesses like yours. CFIB has examined recent trends between commercial and residential property tax rates, also known as the “tax gap.” This gap is a measure of property tax fairness for small business.
While some cities are doing a better job than others in making municipal property taxes fairer for small businesses, there is still more work to be done. For CFIB's latest calculations, read the Entrepreneurial Communities report.
Is it also important that municipalities do not receive new taxation powers from the Government of Saskatchewan. This could pile onto the already unfair tax bill that small businesses receive from their local government. In fact, 87% of small businesses oppose these new tax powers.
Practical solutions for fair taxation
To ease the municipal property tax burden on your business, municipal governments should:
- Limit annual operating spending growth to a maximum of inflation and population growth.
- Review current programs and services to identify areas that can be streamlined or eliminated.
- Develop a long-term strategy to narrow the compensation disparity between public and private sector employees.
- Introduce a plan to reduce the size and cost of the municipal civil service (primarily through attrition).
- Develop and implement a plan over time to reduce the commercial-to-residential property tax gap.
- If applicable, consider the introduction of a base tax for all homeowners.
Do you have stories to share about how increasing municipal property taxes have negatively impacted your business? Call CFIB today at 1-888-234-2232 or send an email to [email protected].