SUMA strategizing next move

Urban municipalities still reeling from provincial budget

The Saskatchewan Urban Municipality Association (SUMA) is still reeling from the provincial budget, and members got together in a conference call Thursday to see if there’s anything else they can do to lessen the blow.

While the provincial government didn’t touch the revenue sharing agreements, it did cancel Grants-in-lieu of taxes payment, costing municipalities millions

The Saskatchewan Party later attempted to reduce the damage, limiting the cut to 30 per cent.

While that resulted in some money landing back in city coffers, for Prince Albert Coun. Don Cody, who attended the call, it’s not enough.

“We’re happy they (capped it),” he said, but we’re not happy about the cut.”

Cody said the teleconference discussed all the options the urban municipalities may have going forward.

“We’re trying to see if there’s any way we can convince the provincial government to back off on the cut for grants in lieu.”

Cody said the group also looked at other options, whether it is other revenue sources SUMA can propose to the province to lessen the load, or ways to spread the risk around more municipalities in the province.

The municipalities are not happy, he added.

“The feeling is anger. We’re really upset that there was no real consultation with us. They blindsided us. We really got hit with a bombshell.”

For more on this story, please see the April 7 print or e-edition of the Daily Herald.