March 31, 2017
For Immediate Release
APAS President Todd Lewis responds to 2017 Provincial Budget
Regina: Todd Lewis, President of the Agricultural Producer’s Association of Saskatchewan (APAS) has had a chance to reflect on the outcome of last week’s provincial budget and the impact it would have on the agricultural community.
Lewis acknowledged that the government faced many difficult challenges in regards to making decisions to ensure the prosperity of Saskatchewan in the years to come while also recognizing that the cost to farmers and ranchers was quite significant. The budget showed that agriculture was seen as a major driver contributing revenue to the province and even though there was a reduction in income tax, the agricultural and rural community is going to see substantial tax increases as well as service reductions.
Lewis also noted that the various steps taken by the government to balance the budget has impacted agriculture significantly and would end up costing the industry approximately $72 million, or $2 on acre and as the producers cannot pass the cost along it would largely be coming out of producer pockets.
Lewis used the example of the PST expansion on insurance premiums “Farms and ranches are high risk ventures and rely heavily on insurance.” Lewis explained” It is not out of the ordinary for a farm to have a $100,000 in premiums; including crop, hail, building, vehicles, machinery, income and livestock coverage. The 6% PST on insurance is significant.”
The APAS president concluded by reminding people how important the agricultural industry is to Saskatchewan, stating, “Money may not grow on trees but it does grow in the fields and ranches of this province.”
APAS is Saskatchewan’s general farm organization formed to provide farmers and ranchers with a democratically elected, grassroots, non-partisan, producer organization based on rural municipal boundaries. As the united voice of thousands of agricultural producers in Saskatchewan, we strive to represent the views of a wide variety of agricultural stakeholders in order to form comprehensive policies that can benefit all sectors of society.
For more information, please call APAS President Todd Lewis @ 306-537-6561