Establishment of Classes and Sub-Classes within
Therefore be it resolved that the SUMA urge the provincial government to make an amendment to The Municipalities Act 284 to provide for the establishment of classes and sub classes of property for the purpose of establishing tax rates in the same manner as provided for in The Cities Act 254.
Response: This suggested legislative change is not under consideration by the government. There has been widespread business and industry opposition to giving subclass authority to municipalities other than cities. The small number of diverse properties in some towns, villages and rural municipalities means that tax shifting is more pronounced. There is a general fear among businesses and industry of municipalities targeting specific sectors. There are also municipal capacity issues. These concerns were expressed both when a similar request was considered in early 2007 by government and during the 2009 revaluation consultations. This resolution suggests the possibility for targeting individual properties that may create inequalities and if so could reinforce business and industry fears. We recognize that the issued of abandoned sites is a problem for municipalities. It is not only an environmental concern, but it has economic development repercussions. At the last Municipal Forum (a meeting between SUMA, SARM, and Municipal Affairs) representatives from the Ministry of Environment were present to discuss this issue. They indicated that the ministry is committed to finding solutions that work for all parties