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EPC urged to end 13-year property tax freeze

Hey there, time traveller!
This article was published 5/12/2011 (3141 days ago), so information in it may no longer be current.

The head of the Manitoba Heavy Construction Association has called for Winnipeg to end the city's 13-year property tax freeze.

Chris Lorenc told council's Executive Policy Committee this morning that they should consider a two per cent property tax hike and raise frontage levies by $1. Lorenc said the move would generate about $18 million that could be put towards Winnipeg's infrastructure deficit.

Chris Lorenc


Chris Lorenc

While it won't solve the city's $3.8-billion infrastructure deficit, Lorenc said it's a good start and can be put towards fixing more local streets. He also urged EPC to consider tolls on existing and new bridges.

This year, city officials have lobbied for a bigger share of growth revenues from the provincial and federal governments.

Lorenc said Winnipeg must first demonstrate it can shoulder part of the responsibility before asking for money from other levels of government.

"We have to start somewhere," he said. "We cannot watch the house we call the city of Winnipeg collapse around us."

Mayor Sam Katz said that a one per cent property tax increase will only raise $4.4 million, and will not address the city's infrastructure deficit. Katz said Winnipeg needs to find a steady, consistent source of growth revenue, noting a one point share of PST would generate $150 million.

This morning, Transcona Coun. Russ Wyatt said Premier Greg Selinger recently shot down an Association of Manitoba Municipalities proposal for a municipal sales tax to be dedicated towards infrastructure projects.

Katz said he was not at the meeting, but that the levy was one idea that's been thrown out there.

"I think you basically continue to impress up on the other levels of government that you need a share of growth revenues," Katz said.


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Updated on Monday, December 5, 2011 at 12:39 PM CST: Adds reaction

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