Saskatoon Mayor Don Atchison was talking about taxes and services in his State of Saskatoon speech on Wednesday. (CBC)

 Saskatoon's mayor is out to change the way the city talks about itself to make the inner city neighbourhoods more exciting-sounding.

Speaking to reporters after his "State of the City" address on Wednesday, Don Atchison said he'd rather call places such as Riversdale "historic neighbourhoods" — instead of the "core area" or "inner city".

It'll draw more visitors, he said.

"If someone said, 'We've got this really exciting historical area.  I'm sure you'll have a great time there today.'  Which would you pick?" Atchison asked.

Atchison's suggestion follows a move by Regina a number of years ago to change the name of its "Core" neighbourhood near the downtown to the "Heritage" neighbourhood.

Changing attitudes was one of his key themes, but taxes and city services were also covered.

Atchison still boasts about the city's low taxes compared to other places, but concedes it could be tough to hang onto that position as Saskatoon plays catch-up on construction and road maintenance.

Cities across the country are grappling with similar problems, he said.

"I can tell you right now those who think that there should not be any tax increases will be communities that will be paying the price dearly further on down the road.

Saskatoon's city property taxes are set to go up 5 per cent this year, while Regina's city council is looking at an increase of about 4.5 per cent.