Local municipalities are coming to terms with the fallout from the recent provincial budget.
Most municipalities will see reductions in transfer payments from the province, larger towns will see grants in lieu of taxes from SaskEnergy eliminated, and many communities face the choice of funding libraries locally or losing services.
“It’s about $63,000 we lost from SaskEnergy. Depending on what we do with the library, we lost about $17,000, and if you add in the increase in PST, I think we may be out about $100,000,” said Moosomin Mayor Larry Tomlinson. “It’s going to hurt, but we’ll be alright. We’ll just have to watch our dollars a little closer.”
Regional Library funding has been cut by 58 per cent in the provincial budget. The cuts mean no more new materials for libraries, no transfers between branches, no special programming kits, no IT support for public access computers, and no payroll for library staff.
Individual municipalities will have to determine whether they take on the costs of operating local libraries or if the services will be cut back.
In Moosomin, the local library board is planning an event this Friday, April 7 over the noon hour to highlight the cutbacks.
The public is being asked to bring a book and read in front of MLA Steven Bonk’s office at 622 Main Street for 15 minutes at 12:05 pm Friday to illustrate the importance of books and libraries.
See the library report on page 22 in this week’s issue for more information on the cuts and the impact they may have.
Revenue sharing for towns and villages
Moosomin is the one community in the area that will see more in revenue sharing grants this year, thanks to its growing population. Moosomin will receive $585,554 from the provincial government this year, up $13,334 from last year or 2.3 per cent.
Redvers will receive $223,694 in revenue sharing this year, down $2,045 or 0.9 per cent.
Rocanville will receive $185,614 in revenue sharing this year, down $13,050 or 6.5 per cent.
Whitewood will see the largest drop among the larger towns in the area. It will receive $185,402, down $34,601 or 15.7 per cent.
Wawota will see $117,539 in revenue sharing this year, down $12,978 or 9.9 per cent.
Maryfield will receive $76,056 in revenue sharing, down $9,718 or 11.3 per cent.
Wapella will receive $71,376 in revenue sharing this year, a reduction of $7,056 or 8.9 per cent.
The village of Kennedy is in line to receive $47,976 in revenue sharing in 2017, down $9,347 or 16.3 per cent.
The village of Spy Hill will see the largest percentage drop of any community in the area. It will receive $37,764 this year, down $11,069 or 22.7 per cent.
The village of Welwyn will receive $30,319 in revenue sharing this year, down $2,682 or 8.1 per cent.
The village of Tantallon will see a substantial drop. It will get $21,384 in revenue sharing this year, down by $4,733 or 18.1 per cent.
The town of Fleming will receive $19,895 in revenue sharing for this year, a decrease of $1,174 or 5.5 per cent.
The village of Fairlight will receive $10,534 in revenue sharing this year, down $669 or 5.9 per cent.
Revenue sharing for RMs
Revenue sharing is down for all RMs in the area this year.
The RM of Walpole will receive $226,447 in revenue sharing this year, down $12,489 or 5.2 per cent.
The RM of Silverwood will receive $178,044 in revenue sharing this year, down $16,173 or 8.3 per cent
The RM of Wawken will get $172,361 in revenue sharing, a reduction of $6,270 or 3.5 per cent.
The RM of Maryfield will receive $169,715 in revenue sharing, a drop of $8,054 or 4.5 per cent.
The RM of Moosomin will get $163,791 in revenue sharing, down $12,431 or 7.0 per cent.
The RM of Martin will receive $150,381, down $12,811 or 7.8 per cent.
The RM of Rocanville will see the largest percentage decline among RMs in the area. The RM of Rocanville will receive $139,422 in revenue sharing this year, down $34,800 or 19.9 per cent.
The RM of Spy Hill will receive $96,448, a decline of $9,431 or 8.9 per cent
SaskEnergy Grants in Lieu
Larger towns and cities will be impacted by the loss of grants in lieu of taxes from SaskEnergy.
The grants in lieu of taxes were introduced decades ago, when SaskEnergy took over municipal gas distribution systems in larger communities.
There were no grants in lieu of taxes from SaskEnergy to smaller towns, villages, or RMs, so they are not impacted by the change.
The end of the grants in lieu of taxes payments from SaskEnergy will cost the town of Moosomin $62,723 this year, the town of Whitewood $26,330, the town of Redvers $24,019, the town of Rocanville $21,566, and the town of Wapella $8,245.