Saskatchewanâ€™s Ministry of Energy and Resources has released its 2011-12 Annual Report. The potash table (page 36) incredibly shows â€œRoyalty/Taxâ€ revenue of only $62.5 million in 2010-11 and $38.4 million in 2011-12.
These figures amount to just 1.2% and 0.6% respectively of the value of potash sales. I have long argued that Saskatchewanâ€™s potash royalties are too low, but they are not that low!
It seems that the first digit is missing from both numbers. The revenue table (page 31) shows 2011-12 potash revenues of $438.4 million. And the 2010-11 figure was $262.5 million.
The omission of $400 million and $200 million of annual potash revenue is ironic in a report that emphasizes undercutting other jurisdictions rather than collecting the best possible return for the people of Saskatchewan. The word â€œcompetitivenessâ€ appears eight times in the report.
I guess this typo makes our provinceâ€™s potash royalties and taxes look ultra-competitive. We can only hope that itâ€™s just a typo and not a subliminal message from Minister Bill Boyd about future resource policy!
UPDATE (August 18): From todayâ€™s Saskatoon StarPhoenix (page A8):
Regina economist Erin Weir, expected to run for the leadership of the Sask. NDP, found a typo this week in the Energy and Resources Ministry annual report.
In a message to media, he noted a table showed potash revenue of $62.5 million in 2010-11 and $38.4 million in 2011-12.
â€œI have long argued that Saskatchewanâ€™s potash royalties are too low, but they are not that low!â€ Weir wrote.
â€œIt seems that the first digit is missing from both numbers.â€
The correct numbers, which were approved by government staff, are $262.5 million in 2010-11 and $438.4 million in 2011-12, but the first digits were dropped by the publisher or designer, said a spokesperson, noting the online version has been fixed.
Weir noted the word â€œcompetitivenessâ€ appears eight times in the report.
â€œI guess this typo makes our provinceâ€™s potash royalties and taxes look ultracompetitive,â€ he continued.
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