NSBA urges the City of Saskatoon to think like Business Owners while finalizing the 2022/2023 budget; recommends a hiring freeze
Saskatoon, SK – On November 24, 2021, the City of Saskatoon released their second multi-year business plan and budget for 2022/2023, and the NSBA was able to review the budget documents with comments and recommendations on measures the City can take to further control expenditures and reduce property tax.
“The NSBA commends the efforts taken to reduce the proposed tax increase from the indicative budget in August, and we appreciate the time and effort put into the 2022/2023 budget,” said Keith Moen, Executive Director. “But we would suggest that the City must make further efforts to reduce taxes even more,” he added.
The fight against COVID-19 is not yet over, and our economy is still in the recovery stage, leaving businesses to pivot and control their expenditures. The NSBA urges the City to think like business owners and follow in the same direction by controlling their expenses. In addition, the NSBA recommends that the City of Saskatoon implement a hiring freeze at this time for FTEs across all departments, with the exception of the Police and Fire Departments.
The NSBA stated in their submission to the City Council that the increase in property taxes in recent years in Saskatoon has grown at a significantly higher rate than the consumer price index (CPI). According to Moen, a sampling of NSBA businesses in Saskatoon has experienced an average property tax increase of about 65 per cent from 2011 to 2021, while the CPI only experienced an average of 19 per cent in the same time period.
The NSBA suggests that the City take action as seen in neighbouring jurisdictions. “It would be a win for the City and our economy if the Council and Administration could reduce property tax from the proposed 3.51% increase to something at, near or below the CPI, just like our neighbours in the cities of Edmonton and Winnipeg have,” Moen said, noting tax increases in Edmonton and Winnipeg were 1.8% and 2.33% respectively.
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The NSBA is a member-driven and focused business association in Saskatoon that serves, promotes and protects business throughout Saskatoon and beyond.
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