Potash companies say Saskatchewan did not consult on budget tax change

REGINA — Two major potash companies say the Saskatchewan government gave them no warning it would be eliminating deductions and credits related to its potash production tax.

The move was announced in the provincial budget released Wednesday.

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The government says it expects to bring in $117 million more in potash revenue than last year by eliminating the resource credit and deductions.

Mosaic and Nutrien say they are disappointed and were not consulted on the change, which takes effect April 1.

"We spent $5 billion in the last decade on expanding our business in Saskatchewan," said Mosaic spokeswoman Sarah Fedorchuk.

"Those decisions have been made under a regulatory environment that is shifting and shifting without consultation."

She said staff are assessing the impact the change will have, but the company does not believe it will have any immediate effect on jobs.

Saskatchewan's energy and resources minister says potash companies were not made aware of the change because of market sensitivity.

Bronwyn Eyre said the change was made because the value of the credits was rising while the base tax remained flat.

In a statement to The Canadian Press, a spokesman for Nutrien said the potash industry already faces rising costs and the government's move only reduces Canadian competitiveness.

Eyre said she believes otherwise.

"The production rates that we're seeing have increased over the last year and we believe global demand is strong," she said.

"That will speak for itself when it comes to competitiveness for potash in Saskatchewan."

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