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Debt Supported by Taxes

“Proposed maximum debt supported by taxes” is a maximum debt level and represents each resident’s average share of the City’s debt.  The intent is not to meet the maximum, but to have a maximum in place so the debt remains affordable for taxpayers.

How are we doing? 

Average long-term tax-supported debt has been trending upward since 2012 to support the City's growth. In 2017, long-term tax-supported debt was $1,111 per person in Saskatoon.
Data Table
Long-Term Tax-Supported Debt Per Person
  2009 2010 2011 2012 2013 2014 2015 2016 2017
Debt per Person (%) 314 463 387 635 727 652 767 996 1111


The measure represents each resident's average share of the City's long-term tax-supported debt. Debt per capita helps to communicate City's debt levels.

The supported debt per person = Actual Long-term Borrowing (including P3 financing)
                                                                             Population of Saskatoon

The City's population is estimated as of December 31 for each year, by the City of Saskatoon Planning and Development Division.

Long-term tax-supported debt includes debt repaid by property taxes and federal gas taxes, but excludes utility debt. In the future, it also will include Public Private Partnership (P3) financing.

How are other cities doing?

Saskatoon's long-term debt is lower than debt in other major cities in Western Canada.


2016 Long-Term Tax-Supported Debt per Person

Calgary    Edmonton    Regina    Winnipeg   
$2,613 $3,580 $1,365 $1,440


What are the benefits of achieving the target?
  • Long-term public infrastructure like bridges and roads is needed to support economic growth and quality of life for citizens
  • Debt is an important part of any city’s funding strategy for long-term infrastructure
  • The maximum debt per capita ensures debt levels are controlled based on the population
  • Although not considered directly by credit rating agencies, the measure contributes to a strong credit rating which keeps interest rates lower

What are the risks?
  • As the City grows, there is more need to expand infrastructure which will require more debt financing
  • Increased debt and interest payments influence the tax rate

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