Skip to content

Town of Luseland aims to clarify residents' tax concerns

The Town of Luseland sheds light on tax concerns raised as they are faced with inflation, increasing carbon tax and long-term debt burden that is almost 40 per cent of municipal tax levy.

LUSELAND — As is often the trend, people tend to gravitate to social media for problem resolution or to feel out fellow community residents for their thoughts on a specific subject. When residents addressed tax concerns through social media, the Town of Luseland issued a letter in the same forum to help communicate town council’s decisions on taxes.

Mayor Kathy Wurz, on behalf of the administration at the Town of Luseland offers these comments.

“We have had some social media backlash from some residents and decided to respond with a letter that we first put on Facebook and will get distributed via mail to the entire community. Our hope was to shed some light on the issues that we are facing with inflation, increasing carbon tax and a long-term debt burden that is almost at 40 per cent of our municipal tax levy.”

Mayor Wurz points out that some of these loans are close to being at term. Mayor and council struggled to provide a balanced budget and were forced to raise their mill rate by one for 2023, she said.

“I would like to comment on the comparisons that keep getting made about other neighbouring communities, as I think it is important to note the significant differences and not compare apples to oranges. One example provided was comparing residential tax rates for the Town of Unity. First of all, I have not seen a copy of a tax notice from someone in Unity, so again, you need to compare homes of similar value in assessment and not just throw out my friend in a neighbouring community pays less,” said Mayor Wurz.

“Secondly, the Town of Unity has an overall assessment of 280,065,900 as of 2022 and as listed on the Government of Saskatchewan website. The Town of Luseland, by comparison, had a total assessment of 66,705,600, showing quite the difference. “

Luseland’s mayor says while she doesn’t have a copy of Unity’s assessment return to see how that divides amongst the various tax classes, she would hazard a guess, based on her knowledge of Unity, that a lot of this is commercial and industrial assessment with a significant commercial tax base along the highway. This level of industrial/commercial assessment allows a municipality the ability to shift some of the tax burden to commercial/industrial properties and provide lower residential property taxes. The Town of Unity also have over 2,500 residents and the Town of Luseland had 559 in 2022.

“Trying to compare the two is not reasonable,” says Mayor Wurz.

The Town of Luseland adds, “Imagine trying to maintain the same levels of service for these two communities but using our much lesser assessment. The Town of Luseland has a brand-new swimming pool, an arena, ball diamonds, a beautiful downtown park, a community hall, a museum, a fire hall, a community motel, a municipal police service, a library, a community garden space, a prairie park, a beautiful golf course, a daycare within our school, a vibrant business core and so much more.

“We think for the size of our town that we have so much to be proud of and a great deal of services and amenities. If we feel that our taxes are too high, then I guess we need to collectively evaluate what level of services we wish to maintain because our small population and rising costs must be taken into consideration.”

It is unknown if this factored into a recently announced call for nominations for two councillor positions. The deadline for nominations was 4:30 p.m. Aug. 8 with one council seat now acclaimed by Rianne Bozzard.

A call for further nominations for the one existing seat needing filled has been made, running from Aug. 9 to Aug. 23 at 4 p.m.

Councillors who stepped down included Krystal Bazylinski who now works as the town’s assistant administrator and had to resign from council in order to apply for the job. Councillor Bobbi Elliot has stepped down leaving her position vacant.

 The Town of Luseland has a website and a Facebook page keeping residents up to date and informed on all aspects that pertain to the community and its residents. Citizens are also free to talk to a town councillor or someone at the town office if they are looking to address a concern.

Don't count on social media to deliver your local news to you. Keep your news a touch away by bookmarking The Unity-Wilkie Press-Herald homepage at this link.

Here's why you should bookmark your favourites.

Bookmark, Saskatchewan's home page, at this link.

Subscribe to newsletter to get our daily news to your inbox.