Now that SaskPower and SaskEnergy payments-in-lieu to municipalities will go directly to general revenue for the province, the City of Yorkton will be taking a substantial hit. Approximately 2.3 million dollars in funding reductions to be exact. Saskatoon City Council is considering legal action as a last resort as they face an 8 million dollar gap, something Yorkton Mayor Bob Maloney isn’t ruling out. “I think it’s something council has to look at, it’s something we have to study and see if we want to be a part of it.” Maloney said. Maloney says the hit would leave Yorkton with a large tax increase. “Something in the neighborhood of 5 per cent was what we were headed towards,” the mayor said, referring to the proposed tax hike. “We’ve had 10 per cent dropped right now.”
“So that would be a 15 per cent increase, (and) I don’t think our council would vote to pass along a 15 per cent increase.” Maloney added Yorkton will see the highest per capita loss of revenue of any Saskatchewan city due to a larger industrial sector relative to the population. Broken down, the loss of revenue would be 1.6 million dollars for the city, 342 thousand due to reduced PST revenues, and 110 thousand due to funding cuts to regional libraries.
A Potential Hefty Bill For Melville
The City of Melville will see a total funding loss of just over 334 thousand dollars. Melville Mayor Walter Streelasky says the reductions could result in a heavy tax load for people in the area. “We were looking at a 6 per cent increase in our budget, however now we have to make up that deficit,” Streelasky said. “We are looking at least a 12 per cent increase.” And that is not including the yet to be determined school taxation. Melville Mayor Walter Streelasky says a meeting with the Premier and Minister of Finance is a necessity. “I think its just mandatory that we get together, talk this over, (on) what can be done.”
Langenburg Already On A Tight Budget
Also seeing the impact is the Town of Langenburg. Langenburg Mayor Don Fogg says the funding reduction effects rural towns just as much as city’s. “We’re just smaller numbers and smaller people so it effects us as much as it does anybody else,” Fogg said. “We have only one way to recover that money, and its either cut services or…look at raising taxes even more.” He added. Fortunately for Langenburg, they will not lose funds from the payments in lieu from SaskPower, but the loss of funds from SaskEnergy will be just over 32 thousand dollars.