Education property tax reforms in Saskatchewan (1997-2011) : an analysis of political rationality and policy rationales
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This thesis examines a series of reforms to the funding framework for the K-12 education system in Saskatchewan during the past fourteen years. It examines the reforms implemented by three successive New Democratic Party governments from 1997 to 2007, and the Saskatchewan Party government from 2007 to 2011. The reforms implemented by the NDP governments included property tax reassessment, a farmland property tax rebate program, the mandatory amalgamation of school divisions, and an education property tax credit program. The reforms implemented by the Saskatchewan Party government included the extension of the education property tax credit program, major education property tax reform, and the introduction of an interim funding policy. The central research question is as follows: why did these provincial governments implement these reforms? In answering that question this thesis adopts a rational choice approach that will focus on the elements of political rationality and policy rationales that led these governments to make particular policy decisions. The key political rationality was their objective to gain and maintain electoral support by responding to the preferred solutions of a broad based coalition of influential advocacy groups within the municipal, agricultural, business and education sectors to what they perceived as problems within the K-12 education funding system. The key policy rationale of these provincial governments was to find a reform option that achieved the preferred mix of policy objectives. These policy objectives included designing and implementing an education funding system that provided adequate and equitable funding for school divisions, achieving an equitable system of property taxation, reducing the tax-load on the property tax base, and finding an appropriate level of accountability and school board local autonomy.
DegreeMaster of Arts (M.A.)
CommitteeBerdahl, Loleen; Poelzer, Greg
Copyright DateAugust 2011