REGINA - The 2022-23 provincial budget includes money for the new Estevan Regional Nursing Home for the second straight year.
Among the items in the budget, released by Finance Minister Donna Harpauer on Wednesday, is $600,000 that has been designated to continue early planning and a needs assessment for the replacement of the Estevan and Watson long-term care facilities, as well as the Yorkton Regional Health Centre.
Last year the government committed $275,000 for the planning of a new long-term care facility in Estevan, which would be the new nursing home.
Estevan has had the requisite funding for the new nursing home to proceed since January 2015.
Revenue of $17.2 billion is forecasted in the 2022-23 budget, up $2.7 billion from last year's document. Non-renewable resource revenue is projected to be $2.9 billion, up $1.6 billion from last year, largely due to higher potash and oil price forecasts because of expected global demand.
The budget projects the average price of oil will be US$75.75 per barrel (WTI).
Expense of $17.6 billion is projected in the 2022-23 Budget, an increase of $531 million, or 3.1 per cent over last year's budget.
The $463 million deficit forecast for 2022-23 is a $2.1 billion improvement from last year’s budget.
The existing application of PST is being broadened to match the federal GST base for admissions and entertainment events. Effective Oct. 1, the PST will apply to sporting events, concerts, museums, fairs, movies, gym memberships, green fees - among others. There are exemptions for children's activities, amateur events and events run by schools and non-profits. This change is projected to add $10.5 million in PST revenue this year and $21 million annually.
Mill rates for the education portion of property taxes (EPT) are being adjusted slightly, including a decrease to the differential between the highest and lowest EPT mill rates. Slight increases to mill rates, combined with forecasted base growth are expected to total about $20.0 million in 2022-23.
Tobacco taxes are increasing by two cents per cigarette, eight cents per gram and 1.3 cents per stick of heatnot-burn products. Tobacco tax increases are effective midnight on March 23, and are expected to generate $12.1 million in additional annual revenue.
Total public debt is forecast to be $30 billion at March 31, a $2.3 billion increase from the public debt forecast in last year's budget.
SaskToday.ca and the Estevan Mercury will have coverage of the budget.