Fertilizer Canada - representing manufacturers, wholesalers and retailers of nitrogen, phosphate, potash and sulphur fertilizers - has decried the lack of consultation with the Saskatchewan government before changes were made to the current potash taxation regime.
Saskatchewan potash producers - Nutrien, BHP and Mosaic - had no input before the surprise provincial budget announcement that they may pay an estimated C$117 million more next year.
"This is not the way to treat the potash industry, which continues to contribute so much to the Saskatchewan economy," said Garth Whyte, president and CEO of Fertilizer Canada.
"Massive job creating investments have been made over the past decade in Saskatchewan," he added. "While it is unclear exactly how much additional taxes our members will now be subject to, it does create uncertainty for any future investments."
Saskatchewan potash producers will now be subject to the highest royalty and tax rates in the world. Taxes will go up 23% under the new provincial budget, as the government anticipates total potash revenue to be C$618.6 million next year. The changes take effect on April 1, 2019, with the start of the fiscal year.
Provincial finance minister Donna Harpauer defended the changes. "It wasn't creating a tax. It's eliminating deductions that could be applied to that tax," she said.
(This article first appeared in the Canadian Mining Journal)