Premier Brad Wall today addressed the annual convention of the Saskatchewan Association of Rural Municipalities (SARM).
Wall contrasted the Saskatchewan Party’s strong record of addressing rural issues against the NDP’s disastrous record in rural Saskatchewan.
“Every year at SARM, the NDP would talk about doing something with the education property tax on farmland,” Wall said. “But they never actually did anything and we started to see tax revolts across the province.
“Every year, the NDP would talk about fixing the municipal revenue sharing formula, but they never actually did anything and municipal governments continued to be underfunded.”
Wall said the Saskatchewan Party government addressed both of those issues shortly after forming government.
“Your Saskatchewan Party government cut education property tax on every type of property, but especially on farmland, which saw education property taxes cut on average by 80 per cent,” Wall said.
“Your Saskatchewan Party government worked with municipal governments to introduce a fair and predictable municipal revenue sharing formula – one point on the PST. As a result, municipal revenue sharing has more than doubled with 2007 – to an all-time high of $271 million this year.
“So I would ask everyone at SARM and all the rural ratepayers you represent to remember – who just talked about fixing these problems and who actually delivered?
“Your Saskatchewan Party government has also made record investments in infrastructure in rural Saskatchewan including long-term care facilities, schools and roads,” Wall said. “And we have strengthened crop insurance and helped increase agricultural exports to Asia and the world.”
During his speech, Wall also announced a new tax credit worth $330 a year for volunteer firefighters and volunteer medical emergency first responders. The new tax credit will cost the province about $1 million a year and will be implemented as the province’s finances strengthen.
“Rural Saskatchewan is an important part of our province and our economy and it is playing a key role in keeping Saskatchewan strong,” Wall said.