Yorkton Council approved a number of exemptions and abatements of taxation for a number of properties at its regular meeting Monday.
All properties are taxed on the basis of assessment, with tax notices sent out at the end of May, explained Ashley Stradeski, Director of Finance with the City.
However, a Council may reduce property taxes or exempt any property from taxation in whole or in part with respect to a financial year.
In that regard, various city policies provide tax incentives that require Council approval, said Stradeski. These incentives must receive Council approval on an annual basis.
The first issue revolved around an abatement for hotel properties in the city.
“In 2019, there occurred a mid-revaluation change in the assessment model used to value hotel properties. Many hotel properties in Yorkton have appealed their assessed values over the last number of years, with some success,” detail a report circulated to Council.
“This model change has drastically increased the assessed values of some of these hotels, literally the year after they had their values decreased by appeal.
“Based on the lack of continuity for hotel valuations, starting with large increases based on the 2017 revaluation, then subsequent appeals reductions and ongoing appeals, we propose that the 2019 taxes for these hotels be abated to the 2018 amounts plus the 2.9 percent increase in taxation that was approved for the city and other taxpayers.”
Stradeski said the suggested move, that was approved, created some fairness, as the City waits for more numbers to emerge.
“This will allow us to observe the outcomes of the ongoing appeals without putting further city funds at risk of loss, as the losses are eventually borne by the taxpayers in subsequent years. Further, it provides consistent taxation both for the city from a revenue standpoint and for the taxpayers,” said the report.
In another abatement, “the public and separate school divisions abate the properties listed in the bylaw in different capacities. The SK Abilities Council located at 162 Ball Road, and the SIGN Building located at 83 North Street are not abated by the City of Yorkton as the Municipality, as these properties are taxed at a reduced rate under a different subclass provided for in Bylaw No. 3/2019 which was passed on May 6, 2019.”s
Another example related to “an agreement with Harvest Meats, the city agrees to phase-in any increase in taxation as a result of increase assessment due to expansion, for each and every expansion of the Harvest lands over a five year period. The last expansion/addition was added to the assessment roll in 2016. The 25 percent abatement in 2019 is year four of the expansion. The expansion/addition will be fully taxed in 2020.”
Other abatements were related to properties developed under the Rental Housing Incentive Program.
The total abatements for the municipality was $58,697.