Winnipeg Free Press - ONLINE EDITION

Katz blasts provincial NDP over PST hike

  • Print

Mayor Sam Katz has accused the Selinger government of engaging in "the biggest tax grab in Manitoba history" by raising $277 million a year though a provincial sales-tax hike he says will not benefit Winnipeg.

The province refused to return fire, insisting only that it is increasing financial support for the city at a time when many municipalities are seeing reduced funding from provinces.

Katz held a press conference after Wednesday’s council meeting to decry the province’s commitment to the city’s infrastructure. This was his second such move in a week.

The mayor used storyboards to suggest Winnipeg residents generate 61 per cent of the PST, but will only receive $7 million of the $277-million proceeds of the PST hike.

He said the province is devoting most of the funds on infrastructure needs that already fell under provincial responsibility, such as hospital and university facilities. He described the allocation of the PST-hike funds as a slap in the face to the city and other municipalities, who have been asking for proceeds from a PST hike for five years.

Such a hike for municipalities is no longer possible, Katz said, now that the province has taken up "tax room" with a PST for its priorities, Katz said.

When asked what he could do about the situation aside from holding press conferences, Katz said it is up to residents of Winnipeg — where the province has most of its electoral support — to let the Selinger government know how they feel.

On the floor of council, Katz said chaos will ensue within 10 years because of the province’s lack of commitment to municipal infrastructure. He said the province has ignored every city request for new funding mechanisms.

Local Government Minister Ron Lemieux said while he and the mayor "disagree on a lot of things," Katz’s priorities and the province’s are very similar.

"If you take a look at what he wants, he wants better streets. There are going to be better streets. He wants to take a look at rapid transit; we hope they get moving on it and they don’t redirect the money, as it was once. We’ve budgeted for that going forward," Lemieux said.

He said the decision to increase the PST was a difficult one, but once Manitobans see the results they will agree it was necessary. Funding for street repairs will increase $7 million, he said, "apologizing" in advance to Winnipeggers for the traffic delays this will cause them this summer.

Katz said that $7 million is all the city will receive from the PST hike, while a 61-per-cent share of the total take would be worth $169 million.

bartley.kives@freepress.mb.ca

larry.kusch@freepress.mb.ca

 

History

Updated on Wednesday, April 24, 2013 at 1:04 PM CDT: corrects typo

4:32 PM: updates with full write-thru

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

It’s the End Of the Term And They Know It, Part Two

View more like this

Photo Store Gallery

  • Horses enjoy a beautiful September morning east of Neepawa, Manitoba  - Standup Photo– Sept 04, 2012   (JOE BRYKSA / WINNIPEG FREE PRESS)
  • Geese fight as a male defends his nesting site at the duck pond at St Vital Park Thursday morning- See Bryksa’s Goose a Day Photo- Day 08- May 10, 2012   (JOE BRYKSA / WINNIPEG FREE PRESS)

View More Gallery Photos

Poll

Are you still on the Bombers' and Jets' bandwagons?

View Results

View Related Story

Ads by Google