City Hall vents frustrations with SAMA

City officials had a hard time containing their displeasure with SAMA — the Saskatchewan Assessment Management Agency — at their special meeting Thursday.

The city is claiming SAMA had not gone ahead with work they had pledged to do into possibly implementing the income approach for tax assessment in North Battleford.

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SAMA had presented to council at their April 27 meeting about doing such an investigation. In particular, SAMA was to look at the possible implementation of the income approach for hotels and motels.

City Manager Randy Patrick told council on Thursday that SAMA had said that within 60 days they would go to those businesses and do an investigation, and bring that back to council.

“That investigation has not occurred,” Patrick reported. Patrick noted the city was sent a letter from the hotels, which expressed their disappointment the work was not done.

“There was promises made and not kept here,” said Patrick.

At the special meeting, councillors voiced their frustrations with SAMA, and noted that a potential switch to the income approach had been talked about at City Hall for a while.

“This has been a conversation for more than four years,” said Councillor Kelli Hawtin. She further expressed hope that the work could still be completed this year.

“If not we’d better find out a really good reason why.”

In response, council voted in favour of a resolution where “the mayor send a letter expressing council’s deep dissatisfaction with SAMA’s lack of follow up on the beginning of the investigation of the income approach, that was promised in April of this year, and further ask that the work commence immediately.”

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