SASKATOON - Premier Scott Moe used his appearance before the Saskatchewan Association of Rural Municipalities to announce the amount of municipal revenue sharing for 2023-24.
Moe announced the overall Municipal Revenue Sharing Program will be $298 million, an increase of 13 per cent or $36 million for the current fiscal year. It also represents an increase of 134 million from 2007-08 and is up from the previous record of $278 million set in 2020-21.
"That is only available due to the strength of a resource based economy, and that growing economy means, yes, higher PST revenues," Moe said to convention delegates. "That means that we are able to share those revenues with our municipalities. A large increase in this year's budget builds on what was already a 106 per cent increase since that program was introduced, and the funding in municipal revenue sharing has doubled since this government introduced it years ago."
In addition, $1.5 million of municipal revenue sharing will go to the Targeted Sector Support Initiative, which invests in projects advancing shared priority areas.
There is no change to the formula for Municipal Revenue Sharing Program based on three quarters of one point of the provincial sales tax revenue collected from two years prior.
The municipal revenue sharing program is a no-strings attached program. Moe noted it was that way because "you decide what to do with the funding, not us," he told municipal delegates, noting municipalities were closer to the ground and know the priorities much better than the provincial government.
The municipal revenue sharing announcement came in advance of the release of the provincial budget next week on March 22.
In addition to municipal revenue sharing, Moe made other pre-budget announcements in his appearance at SARM including a commitment in the budget to an increase in crop insurance.
"There will be record coverage. You can be assured of that. There will be an increase in the maximum coverage for unseeded acreage, and there is going to be changes to make the program more flexible and more responsive to you the producer, with individual premiums that better reflect what each producer is doing in their specific instance in their farm."
Premier Moe also announced a "significant and targeted" investment in health care and pledged to raise the Rural Physician Incentive Program from $47,000 to $200,000, to address a shortage of health care personnel in rural and remote areas.
Moe also touted the province's four-point health recruitment plan, and pledged more resources in the budget to address surgical wait times, more surgeries in hospitals, more publicly funded surgeries in private facilities, and more investments in hospitals and long term care centres.
During his address Moe also touted increased trade and investment in the province, pointing to project in mining, oil and gas, and agriculture.
Moe also pointed to the addition of 9,400 jobs and an unemployment rate of 4.3 per cent, the second lowest in Canada. He also pointed to Saskatchewan exports being up 56 per cent year over year.
“In this province, we live and die by trade with the world. The things that we do, the things that you do in rural Saskatchewan, they matter. They matter to the world,” said Moe.