A local homeowner was denied a request by Moose Jaw City Council on Monday night to revise his tax exemption under the Replacement Housing Incentive Program.
Victor Salzsauler and his wife Susan built a home on 1029 Oxford St. E. Salzsauler had the building completed and was living in the house by the beginning of March.
The Replacement House Incentive Program is for applicants who plan to demolish an old house in an older area of the city and build a new house or duplex on the same site.
Construction must be completed within one year of the building permit being issued, and once city building officials confirm that the house is “substantially complete” the applicant receives a five-year tax exemption beginning Jan. 1 the following year.
Because Salzsauler completed the house in 2021, his five-year tax exemption was slated to begin on Jan. 1 of this year.
Salzsauler’s asked for a revision that would backdate the tax exemption to March 4, 2021, and last for three years until Dec. 31, 2023. He plans to sell the property by 2024.
“No matter what the outcome may be here today, I can still have the option to take my three-year plan back into a five-year plan to take full advantage of your program. This, of course, would be advantageous for me and not for the City of Moose Jaw,” Salzsauler said.
Director of Planning and Development Services Michelle Sanson said city administration has never gotten requests to change the dates of the tax exemption under the program.
“I can't think of another time that it's happened,” she said.
Coun. Jamey Logan said, while he understands Salzsauler’s concerns, it was logistically hard to approve the request.
“It puts us in a difficult position to do that. I do sympathize with them, but then we have to start doing that for everyone that asks, and it becomes a very difficult task for us, and for administration to start looking at these and backdating them all,” Logan said.
The request was denied unanimously by city council with Mayor Clive Tolley abstaining due to a conflict of interest.