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City to renew agreement with rural landowners to ensure consistent taxation

The city annexed 1,520 hectares (3,800 acres) of land from the Rural Municipality of Moose Jaw in 2016 to support the development of the agri-food industrial park and needs to renew agreements with affected landowners.
city hall building stock
Moose Jaw City Hall (Larissa Kurz photograph)

The City of Moose Jaw plans to renew an agreement with residents in the southwest corner on agricultural property to ensure consistent taxation levels. 

The city annexed 1,520 hectares (3,800 acres) of land from the Rural Municipality of Moose Jaw in 2016 to support the development of the agri-food industrial park. A clause in the Voluntary Boundary Alteration Agreement guaranteed that the taxes of those affected ratepayers would remain at the same rate as when they lived in the rural municipality. 

The agreement also suggested that the city consider additional fixed farmland agreements from 2022 to 2026 for the owners who had agricultural lands that exceeded eight hectares as of Jan. 1, 2022, if the owners had not made any improvements to their land, a city council report explained. It was also suggested that the city consider additional fixed farmland agreements for other agricultural lands. 

If those property owners did alter their properties away from farm operations, they would have to pay full city taxes. 

Eleven property owners have fixed farmland agreements with the city, while eight property owners have a tax exemption agreement with Moose Jaw. 

City administration presented a recommendation during the Oct. 12 council meeting urging council to approve the agreements for 2022 to 2026 with all property owners affected by the boundary alterations. 

City hall also recommended that council permit one property owner to subdivide her land since there was an error in construction and the woman’s house was built on the property line. The subdivision would correct this error, which the former agreement did not permit since the woman would lose her exemption. 

Council voted 5-1 to approve the agreement, which will allow city administration to bring forward bylaws to finalize the changes.

Coun. Kim Robinson was opposed.

The next regular council meeting is Monday, Oct. 25.