Three resolutions were easily passed by delegates at the online Saskatchewan Association of Rural Municipalities (SARM) Mid-Term Convention on Tuesday.
A resolution, introduced by the RM of Eye Hill in the Macklin area along the Alberta border, was co-sponsored by 45 other RM’s around the province. It calls on SARM to lobby the provincial government to allow RM’s to register liens against oil and gas company licenses if there are unpaid taxes. The resolution passed by a margin of 242-4.
The RM’s sponsoring the resolution say oil and gas companies owe them a combined $10,162,637 in municipal tax arrears and another $3,876,171 in unpaid education tax. When combined with taxes already written off, RM of Eye Hill administrator Jason Pilat stated the total was in excess of $19.7 million.
Another resolution asked SARM to lobby the provincial government to amend the Municipalities Act, the Tax Enforcement Act and the Oil and Gas Conservation Act to have the operating license of a resource company suspended if they do not keep municipal taxes current. That resolution passed by a vote of 248-6.
SARM will be conducting a detailed review to calculate how much money in tax arrears is owed by oil and gas companies to the 296 RM’s in the province. SARM President Ray Orb hopes to have that number ready to present to the provincial government before the end of the year. It is expected to be much lower than the $240 million already owed in outstanding taxes to Alberta municipalities.