Winnipeg Free Press - ONLINE EDITION

Wasylycia-Leis would tie tax increases to inflation, population growth

Promises more details on improving infrastructure, snow removal later in campaign

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Mayoral candidate Judy Wasylycia-Leis arrives at her first news conference Tuesday afternoon at the corner of Linwood Street and Ness Avenue in Wightman Green park.

JOE BRYKSA / WINNIPEG FREE PRESS Enlarge Image

Mayoral candidate Judy Wasylycia-Leis arrives at her first news conference Tuesday afternoon at the corner of Linwood Street and Ness Avenue in Wightman Green park. Photo Store

At her first campaign policy announcement, Winnipeg mayoral candidate Wasylycia-Leis pledged to limit future property-tax increases to the combined aggregate of inflation and Winnipeg's population growth.

That would work out to somewhere between two and three per cent this year. The city raised the pool of money it collects on existing properties by 2.95 per cent this year, compared to 2013.

Wasylycia-Leis said she is making this promise so Winnipeggers would not be surprised at tax time. She noted she promised to raise taxes by two per cent a year in 2010‎ and was lambasted by victorious incumbent Sam Katz, who went on increase frontage levies and property taxes by higher rates.

Wasylycia-Leis was non-commital about whether she would continue to devote the proceeds from a two-per-cent annual tax hike to infrastructure, as Katz does.

She also made broad promises to improve infrastructure, but declined to provide specifics.

She promised to repair streets, sidewalks and back lanes and replace sewers and watermains, but did not say how. She promised to improve snow removal, water distribution and garbage and recycling pickup, but did not say how.

She promised to offer specifics about her promises later in her campaign.

Wasylycia-Leis‎ also pledged to establish independent oversight over major capital projects and promised to elaborate about that later in the campaign.

The former NDP MP and MLA made her address before about 200 supporters at a park in St. James. She was‎ flanked by politicians such as Mynarski Coun. Ross Eadie, Wolseley NDP MLA Rob Altemeyer and Liberal Sen. Sharon Carstairs.

UNIFOR national representative Paul McKie served as a campaign media volunteer at the event.

History

Updated on Tuesday, June 3, 2014 at 1:26 PM CDT: adds missing word

2:35 PM: Corrects spelling of Linwood Street in caption

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