Whereas the Premier chose PST as the basis for revenue sharing, and made a commitment to honour the revenue sharing agreement as long as his party formed government in Saskatchewan; and
Whereas PST provides a fair and predictable base for revenue sharing, allowing municipalities to develop budgets in a timely fashion; and
Whereas the current revenue sharing arrangement reflects shared interests between municipalities and the Province, including policing, recreation, transit, and the environment; and
Whereas it is essential that the Province consult with SUMA prior to making any changes to the current revenue sharing regime;
Therefore be it resolved that the SUMA membership unanimously express its appreciation for the Government of Saskatchewan's commitment to the current revenue sharing agreement, based on one point of the Provincial Sales Tax; and
Be it further resolved that SUMA call upon the Premier and his colleagues to continue their solemn promise to share one point of the Provincial Sales Tax revenues with the municipal sector, whatever the fiscal state we face in this province, for as long as they have the honour to form the government of this province.
In regard to the resolution concerning municipal revenue sharing, the development of the 2015-16 Saskatchewan Budget required difficult choices to be made in order to achieve a fiscal balance, while still ensuring sufficient funding for key public services such as health, education and infrastructure. Maintaining firm control on spending, including tightening some of our existing tax expenditures, was necessary in order to achieve a fiscal balance without raising taxes. While funding reductions in some areas were necessary in order to achieve overall balance, as you are aware our Government was able to maintain the current revenue sharing commitment to municipalities based on one percentage point of the Provincial Sales Tax. For 2015-16, the Province has committed more than $465 million in direct provincial funding for municipalities, and increase of over $8 million from 2014-15 and the largest revenue sharing grant to date. In times of fiscal constraint it is necessary for the government to consider all its revenue sources and areas of expenditures, adjusting as necessary to ensure continued balance. It is through continued fiscal responsibility that Saskatchewan is able to achieve balanced budgets while most other jurisdictions in Canada are expected to continue to incur budget deficits.