Province hopes to bring in $10.7M through fee increases

Province hopes to bring in $10.7M through fee increases

The Saskatchewan government announced fee increases to government programs Thursday that it hopes will generate $10.7 million, including $8.7 million in general revenue in the 2017-18 fiscal year.

In addition to the general revenue, the government says the new fees will add $886,500 to the Fish and Wildlife Development Fund in the coming fiscal year.

Included in the general revenue, the government expects to bring in $4.5 million from a 10 per cent penalty on audit assessments for companies in the oil and gas sectors that are found by an audit to owe money. 

There were 30 such companies in 2016, the government says.

Other expected revenue generators for the province include changes to hunting and trapping licence fees and skilled immigrant nominee program application fees, which are expected to bring in another $3.2 million — $2.1 million from licensing fees and $1.1 million from applications.

As part of the hunting and trapping fees:

- Saskatchewan residents will pay $10 more for licensing fees. 

- Wildlife Habitat Certificate prices will increase by $5. 

- A new fee of $50 for a wolf-hunting licence that will be available to Saskatchewan residents. 

- Fees in general will be rounded to the nearest $5, including GST.

- Canadian and non-resident hunting fees are increasing.

There are approximately 200,000 licensed hunters and trappers in Saskatchewan. 

Resident angling licence fees are also increasing. One-day licences will cost $3 more, three-day licences $4 more, and annual licences $8 more. Fees will be rounded to the nearest full dollar amount, including GST.

The government hopes to bring in $850,000 through the new angling fees.

New immigration program fees

Immigrants applying to the international skilled workers occupations-in-demand program and the express entry program will be required to pay a non-refundable fee of $300. 

According to the government release, the changes will affect approximately 2,400 applications under the express entry program and another 1,300 under the occupations-in-demand category. 

Saskatchewan immigration services does not currently collect any fees for these programs.

The fee changes will take effect April 1.

A full list of changes can be found on the government's website.