Taxation of property has been a revenue source for government, particularly local government. The system of property taxation in Saskatchewan has evolved from a flat land tax in early years to the current tax system which employs an assessment system to more accurately reflect variations in the productive value
of different parcels of land. A new assessment system has been proposed under which the taxation of rural land in Saskatchewan would be largely based on recent land market prices. Is the singular purpose of an assessment system to collect taxes, or should other implications be considered? What impact have past
assessment systems had on land use? Soil conservation? Enterprise mix? or the rural community? This paper examines some of the features of various assessment systems and the current proposal for a new assessment system in Saskatchewan with a focus on these questions.