Some cities losing half of provincial funding, says Sask. Urban Municipalities Association

Saskatchewan communities are facing a "dire" situation following the release of the province's budget, according to the Saskatchewan Urban Municipal Association (SUMA).

In a message to its members that was posted on Twitter, SUMA's board and administration says "our members are outraged and so are we".

The province's deficit budget put an end to $36 million in grants from SaskPower and SaskEnergy, which were paid to municipalities in lieu of property taxes for infrastructure.

SUMA's message said more than 100 of its members were "ambushed" by the cuts. While the province kept its revenue sharing with municipalities intact, the loss of the grant will "negate any sense of relief we felt over the revenue sharing formula surviving intact."

The association released a table that they say shows the calculated cuts to affected members.

The chart indicates that with the loss of the grants in lieu, some municipalities will be receiving half of what they received from the province the year prior.

Loss for communities by percentage:

- Yorkton — 58.45 per cent.

- Moose Jaw — 49.44 per cent.

- Humboldt — 49.30 per cent.

- North Battleford — 48.39 per cent.

- Estevan — 47.49 per cent.

- Melville —47.08 per cent.

- Weyburn — 43.98 per cent.

- Prince Albert — 43.48 per cent.

- Melfort — 41.8 per cent.

SUMA's message goes on to say the provincial budget "has devastated and ambushed our members, making you out to be the bad guys if you raise property taxes (because what other option do you have?)"