'We’re disappointed': Saskatoon businesses prepare for property tax hike
SASKATOON -- The Chamber of Commerce opposes City Council’s property tax increase.
In the final day of budget deliberations, the city voted to increase property taxes 3.7 per cent in 2020.
“We’re disappointed. We were hoping to see the city come very close to the rate of inflation,” Darla Lindbjerg, CEO of the Saskatoon Chamber, told CTV News.
“It’s a hard time to do business when the costs keep going up, and you can’t sell your products for more.”
The tax increase means a homeowner with a property assessed at $371,000 would pay an additional $69.87 a year.
For businesses, the price tag is often in the thousands, according to the Chamber.
Software company Vendasta said the increase comes at a bad time, as the company is planning to move to a new office.
“We’re looking at hiring a lot more people between now and when we move next year. A 3.7 per cent increase will mean about $6,000 to $12,000 difference. Moving to Saskatoon Square will impact us about $10,000 a year and $20,000 over two years,” said Richard Cheung, chief financial officer of Vendasta.
The property tax increase has been debated since the preliminary budget came out in the summer.
At first, city administration proposed a 3.97 per cent increase for 2020. It was lowered to 3.23 per cent, then 3.19 per cent – but council eventually landed on 3.7 per cent.
In 2021, property taxes will increase 3.87 per cent