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Property-tax hike for 2014 likely to be near 3%

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Winnipeg's 2014 operating budget will feature another property-tax increase, this time in the vicinity of 2.95 per cent.

On Friday, Mayor Sam Katz will present the city's spending plan for next year. It will include the city's second consecutive property-tax increase, as the mayor and finance chairman Russ Wyatt (Transcona) have said for months.

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The increase includes a one-per-cent hike devoted to infrastructure improvements. The city's intention is to hike property taxes by this amount every year to fix roads and bridges.

The remaining hike will cover the increasing cost of delivering city services, the bulk of which are police and fire-paramedic costs.

Sources confirmed the total hike in the vicinity of 2.95 per cent.

Both the city's operating budget and capital budget will be tabled Friday. The operating budget is a blueprint for spending on services, while the capital budget covers infrastructure improvements.

In a series of pre-budget announcements, Katz pledged funding increases for bike-and-pedestrian paths, library acquisitions and athletic fields.

City sources also say a cut is coming to emergency services -- specifically to staff responsible for housing people following fires and other disasters.

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Updated on Thursday, November 28, 2013 at 6:03 PM CST: Corrects typo in headline.

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