Winnipeg Free Press - PRINT EDITION

Give municipalities bigger chunk of tax increase, Katz tells committee

  • Print

MAYOR Sam Katz squared off against MLAs on Tuesday night, telling them Winnipeg and other municipalities deserve a bigger chunk of revenue from the PST hike, cash better spent on roads and bridges than schools and hospitals.

Speaking in a sweltering legislature committee room, Katz said only three per cent of the $277 million raised from the one-percentage-point PST will be earmarked for Winnipeg streets.

That figure does not include money the province promises to spend on provincial highways that run through urban areas or new schools, hospitals and community clubs, all of which also benefit municipalities.

Katz said the province needs to earmark more cash for basic road work, including fixing the 20 per cent of local streets in Winnipeg rated poor.

"The Manitoba government still has an opportunity to act as a leader, to implement a long-term strategic plan with an ongoing, predictable source of revenue devoted entirely to municipal infrastructure," Katz told the MLAs.

In a rare move for a capital-city mayor, Katz appeared before one of the provincial legislature's standing committees Tuesday, the second evening of public hearings on the PST hike. The hearings are largely moot since the increase took effect July 1, but they have allowed Manitobans, mostly Tories, to vent.

Katz spoke amid a chorus of opponents to the PST hike, many of whom threatened to leave the province for Saskatchewan, condemned what they called the NDP's arrogant and dictatorial style and demanded the government stop taking money from the pockets of hard-working Manitobans.

And he said cities need a predictable, long-term plan for provincial infrastructure funding that will allow towns and cities to plan in a less piecemeal fashion.

Katz did not oppose the PST hike, but noted it is one among many tax and fee hikes the province has made in the last two years, while the city is stuck with only one real revenue source -- property taxes.

Instead, Katz asked the Selinger government to do three things: Make spending from the new PST point entirely transparent, down to every nickel; exempt all Manitoba municipalities from paying PST, which could save them $17 million a year ($11 million for the city alone); and work with local mayors and reeves on a long-term funding plan for infrastructure.

The City of Winnipeg will pay $11 million a year in PST, including the new one-point increase, which will cost the city an additional $1.4 million a year.

 

-- Mary Agnes Welch

Republished from the Winnipeg Free Press print edition July 3, 2013 A3

History

Updated on Thursday, July 4, 2013 at 7:56 AM CDT: Clarifies that the City of Winnipeg will pay $11 million a year in PST, including the new one-point increase.

Fact Check

Fact Check

Have you found an error, or know of something we’ve missed in one of our stories?
Please use the form below and let us know.

* Required
  • Please post the headline of the story or the title of the video with the error.

  • Please post exactly what was wrong with the story.

  • Please indicate your source for the correct information.

  • Yes

    No

  • This will only be used to contact you if we have a question about your submission, it will not be used to identify you or be published.

  • Cancel

Having problems with the form?

Contact Us Directly
  • Print

You can comment on most stories on winnipegfreepress.com. You can also agree or disagree with other comments. All you need to do is be a Winnipeg Free Press print or e-edition subscriber to join the conversation and give your feedback.

You can comment on most stories on winnipegfreepress.com. You can also agree or disagree with other comments. All you need to do is be a Winnipeg Free Press print or e-edition subscriber to join the conversation and give your feedback.

Have Your Say

New to commenting? Check out our Frequently Asked Questions.

Have Your Say

Comments are open to Winnipeg Free Press print or e-edition subscribers only. why?

Have Your Say

Comments are open to Winnipeg Free Press Subscribers only. why?

The Winnipeg Free Press does not necessarily endorse any of the views posted. By submitting your comment, you agree to our Terms and Conditions. These terms were revised effective April 16, 2010.

letters

Make text: Larger | Smaller

LATEST VIDEO

Gary Lawless & Ed Tait try not to bleeping cry over the woesome Jets

View more like this

Photo Store Gallery

  • A goose comes in for a landing Thursday morning through heavy fog on near Hyw 59 just north of Winnipeg - Day 17 Of Joe Bryksa’s 30 day goose challenge - May 24, 2012   (JOE BRYKSA / WINNIPEG FREE PRESS)
  • A female Mallard duck leads a group of duckings on a morning swim through the reflections in the Assiniboine River at The Forks Monday.     (WAYNE GLOWACKI/WINNIPEG FREE PRESS) Winnipeg Free Press  June 18 2012

View More Gallery Photos

Poll

Will you get out and vote for a new mayor and council?

View Results

View Related Story

Ads by Google