New legislation, tax increases ring in the new year
Property taxes rise in big cities; workplace harassment, trespassing laws take effect
The new year will ring in on Saturday and with it a number of changes at the federal, provincial and municipal levels.
- Property taxes in Regina are going up 3.4 per cent in 2022. That works out to about $6 a month for the average homeowner.
- The utility rate increases by five per cent.
- Regina's sidewalk snow-clearing bylaw comes into effect Saturday. Snow must be cleared from sidewalks adjacent to properties within 48 hours after a snow or ice event. The downtown area must be cleared within 24 hours. The city says the first year of the bylaw will be focused on education.
- This is the 10th and final year of an annual incremental increase of the Mosaic stadium tax of 0.45 per cent. The tax will remain at this rate for the next 30 years.
- Saskatoon residents will see a 3.86 increase in property taxes in 2022. That works out to $6.27 a month for the average homeowner.
Admission to leisure centres will go up slightly. For example, a daily general admission pass for an adult rises to $10 from $9.80.
Water and wastewater rates will increase overall by 2.5 per cent.
- Moose Jaw will see 5.45 per cent property tax increase. That works out to an extra $6.76 a month for the average homeowner.
New trespassing legislation
Hunters and snowmobilers will now need permission to go on private land.
With the new trespassing legislation anyone who wants to participate in any recreational activity on private property in Saskatchewan must now first get permission from the owner. Signage allowing for access on the property will also be accepted as permission.
Under earlier legislation, landowners had to put up postings if they wanted to limit the public's access.
The new legislation provides legal protection to landowners against property damage and the risk of agricultural disease, and limits any liability that may come from a trespasser's presence on their property.
Trespassers will also face stiffer legal penalties, including the possibility of jail time.
Starting in 2022, a person who repeatedly trespasses on the same property can be fined up to $25,000 and incarcerated for up to six months, while a corporation involved in a trespassing offence could be fined up to $200,000.
Sexual harassment in the workplace
An amendment to the Employment Act makes it clear any unwelcome action of a sexual nature constitutes harassment.
The amendment also covers independent contractors, students and volunteers.
Contributions to the Canada Pension Plan and Employment Insurance are going up.
The maximum employer and employee contributions for CPP will be $3,499 each in 2022, an increase from $3,166 this year.
Employment Insurance premiums are going up after a two-year freeze. Premiums are set to rise from $1.58 per $100 of insurable earnings to $1.83 by 2027.
Saskatchewan residents will pay the same carbon tax rate in the coming year.
The tax is increasing from $40 per tonne to $50 per tonne, but SaskPower says it will absorb the increase.
The carbon tax was set at $20 per tonne on Jan. 1, 2019, and will see $10-per-tonne increases for the following three years. It will increase by $15 per tonne beginning in 2023.