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News Releases

March 3, 2015

Budget 2015: City proposes balanced budget for 2015

Dedicates modest tax increase to top priorities of Winnipeggers

Released: 1:45 p.m.

Winnipeg, MB - Today the City of Winnipeg presented a balanced, Preliminary Budget for 2015 that will maintain and increase spending in priority areas, despite revenue challenges resulting from the legacy of 14 years of property tax cuts and freezes.

“The City is faced with a growing gap between revenue and the spending required to help maintain and modernize our growing, thriving city,” said Mayor Brian Bowman. “In this budget environment, our challenge is to be able to dedicate record levels of funding to key priorities, like street renewal, while keeping tax increases just as low as possible.”

The 2015 Preliminary Budget proposes a 2.3 per cent property tax increase tied to the rate of inflation, of which 2 per cent will be entirely dedicated to the local and regional street renewal capital program. In total, this will allow the City to triple its 2012 investment in street renewal with $103.3 million in 2015 alone, an increase of $19.1 million more than in 2014.

“A critical component in moving forward is that Winnipeg must step up its fight to gain a fair share of the PST,” said the Mayor.  “On the national stage, we’re already part of a large coalition of municipalities who understand that, for decades, Canada’s largest cities have been chronically underfunded by provincial governments.  That’s got to change.”

“The good news in this preliminary budget is that Winnipeg will still have the lowest residential municipal property taxes when compared  to other large cities across Canada”,  said Finance Chair, Councillor Marty Morantz. “The proposed property tax increase will result in homeowners paying $37 more per year or 10 cents more per day on the average home.”

Other highlights of the 2015 Preliminary Budget include:

A Leap Forward in Managing Traffic Flows
Winnipeg will take full advantage of new traffic management technologies by establishing its first ever Transportation Management Centre (TMC).  Once operational by the end of 2016, the TMC will become the primary source of traffic information through the use of social media, smartphones and traveller information boards.  It will be funded by $3.5 million annually in the Operating Budget, once fully implemented, and $3 million in 2015-2016, from the Capital Budget.

Fuelling Economic Growth
To support the engine of business that fuels our economy, the proposed budget decreases the City’s business tax rate from 5.7 to 5.6 percent.  It will enhance the small business tax credit program to provide 6,025 or nearly half of all Winnipeg businesses with a full rebate when they have an annual rental value of $30,000 or less, up from 5,147 businesses in 2014.

Supporting Public Safety
To support the Winnipeg Police Service and its ongoing efforts to ensure the safety of Winnipeggers, the Preliminary Budget proposes an increase of $4.9 million for a total allocation of $264 million.  The Fire Paramedic Service budget will also increase by $10.5 million to $178.3 million for a total investment between the services that comprises 44.5% of the total tax supported budget.

Moving Forward with Rapid Transit
To move forward with Rapid Transit, the budget offers solutions to allow Phase 2 of the Southwest Transitway/Pembina Highway Underpass to proceed.  It provides a sustainable, multi-year funding plan for the next stages of building a more modern public transit network that will drive our economy and serve a growing, thriving city.

Investing in our Community
New and ongoing strategic initiative investments proposed in this Preliminary Operating Budget include projects and programs aimed at strengthening Winnipeg as a vibrant and caring community, including investments to help reduce homelessness, increases to civic museums and arts funding, maintaining the Aboriginal Youth Strategy, funding for 100% biological larviciding to manage mosquito populations, a commitment to a downtown dog park, and financial support for Assiniboine Park, as examples.

Encouraging Innovation
This proposed budget includes a $1 million Innovation Capital Fund.  This fund will provide investment for the best ideas for improved efficiency, service delivery and responsiveness in City operations.

“Our ongoing financial challenges will only be met if everyone at the City of Winnipeg seeks out new and innovative approaches to delivering priority services,” said Mayor Bowman.  “Winnipeggers are counting on us to do nothing less.”

The 2015 Budget builds on the City’s long-term plan to grow a modern, thriving city with quality of life improvements for all Winnipeggers that include renewal of our infrastructure, and a focus on creating a safe and vibrant community we are all proud to call home.

For more information on the 2015 Budget, please visit Winnipeg.ca/2015Budget

Related links:

Budget 2015: Investment in local and regional streets major City priority

22.7% increase supports record level funding for 2015 street renewal program

Released: 2:00 p.m.

Winnipeg, MB - In keeping with one of the top priorities of Winnipeggers, the City today presented its 2015 Preliminary Budget to increase funding, to record levels, for the renewal of both local and regional streets as part of the overall, six-year capital budget and forecast representing $2.9 billion in investments.

The 2015 Preliminary Capital Budget proposes a 22.7 per cent increase totalling a record $103.3 million for the regional and local street renewal capital program, an increase of $19.1 million from the 2014 Budget.

“Keeping pace with Winnipeg as a fast-growing city requires a committed focus and a dedicated revenue stream for renewing our local and regional streets,” said Mayor Brian Bowman.  “By dedicating a record level investment, we believe we have taken another important step on the road to renewal of our most critical infrastructure.”

As part of the street renewal plan, Finance Chair, Councillor Marty Morantz said, “Dedicated funding will be drawn from new revenue generated from a number of sources including a portion of an inflation-tied 2.3 per cent property tax increase. Of this new revenue, 2 per cent will be dedicated to the renewal of regional and local streets, back lanes and sidewalks as part of the 2015 capital program.”

Despite the increase, Councillor Morantz said Winnipeg will still have the lowest residential municipal property taxes when compared to other large cities across Canada.  Today’s proposed increase will result in $37 more per year in property taxes or 10 cents more per day on the average home.

Morantz added that a further $6.5 million in departmental savings/efficiencies was identified and reinvested in regional streets through incremental cash to capital.  As well, the Street Renewal Frontage Levy, last increased in 2011, will increase to $4.35 from $3.75 per frontage foot to reflect construction inflation and will be fully dedicated to fund streets and sidewalk maintenance.

Summary of highlights of the proposed Capital Budget include:

Investing in City Streets

  • Regional Street Renewal will provide an enhanced program of $18.5 million, $16.4 million toward the regular program and incremental cash to capital of $6.5 million funded from departmental savings/efficiencies, for a total of $41.4 million in 2015
    Local Street Renewal will provide an enhanced program of $18.7 million and $43.2 million toward the regular program for a total of $61.9 million in 2015
  • In total, the Local and Regional Street Renewal Program will provide $103.3 million in 2015, more than tripling the investment made in 2012

Dedicated Funding Plan for Regional and Local Street Renewal

  • A 2.3 per cent property tax increase will dedicate:
    • 2 per cent solely to the renewal of regional and local streets, back lanes and sidewalks in the capital program
      • 1 per cent to regional and 1 per cent to local
    • .3% general property tax increase for operating expenditures
  • Additional $9.8 million in new revenue generated in 2015 will be transferred to the capital reserves
  • Debt financing of $20.2 million in 2015 for regional and local street renewal
  • Additional $6.7 million from increase in Street Renewal Frontage Levy, tied to construction inflation, dedicated to funding streets and sidewalks maintenance in the Operating Budget

Other Highlights of the Six-Year Capital Investment Program

  • $1.2 billion for sewage disposal projects
  • $816.7 million for roads and bridges
  • $203.6 million for the  drinking water system
  • $197.7 million for the transit system
  • $110.2 million for public safety infrastructure
  • $96.8 million for community and municipal facilities including pools, arenas and recreation amenities
  • $95.2 million for community services including libraries
  • $32.2 million for land drainage and flood control
  • $27.9 million for active transportation facilities
  • $26.6 million for recycling and garbage disposal

“We believe this proposed plan offers Winnipeggers the certainty of knowing exactly where their tax dollars are flowing,” Mayor Bowman concluded, “and, that is to projects and initiatives that rank at the very top of their list of priorities.”

The 2015 Budget builds on the City’s long-term plan to grow a modern, thriving city with quality of life improvements for all Winnipeggers that include renewal of our infrastructure, and a focus on creating a safe and vibrant community we are all proud to call home.

For more information on the 2015 Budget, please visit Winnipeg.ca/2015Budget

Related links:

Budget 2015: Winnipeggers invited to participate in the 2015 Budget approval process

A call or email to 311 sets registration in motion

Released: 2:15 p.m.

Winnipeg, MB - Winnipeggers are invited to participate in the process of reviewing the 2015 Preliminary Budget tabled at a special meeting of Executive Policy this afternoon by Mayor Brian Bowman and Finance Chair, Councillor Marty Morantz.

To register as delegations to comment on the Budget, citizens are invited to call 311, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, or send email to 311@winnipeg.ca.

Citizens can register as delegations for the following meetings, which have been scheduled as part of the 2015 Budget approval process:

Friday, March 6, 2015
Winnipeg Police Board Meeting (regular meeting)

Monday, March 9
Standing Policy Committee on Protection and Community Services (regular meeting)

Tuesday, March 10
Standing Policy Committee on Property and Development (regular meeting)

Monday, March 16
Standing Policy Committee on Infrastructure Renewal and Public Works (rescheduled from March 13, 2015)

Tuesday, March 17
Special Executive Policy Committee to hear delegations on Budgets

Wednesday, March 18
Executive Policy Committee to consider Standing Policy Committee recommendations and table final recommendations (regular meeting)

Monday, March 23, 2015
Special Meeting of City Council to pass Budgets

The 2015 Budget builds on the City’s long-term plan to grow a modern, thriving city with quality of life improvements for all Winnipeggers that include renewal of our infrastructure, and a focus on creating a safe and vibrant community we are all proud to call home.

For more information on the 2015 Budget, please visit Winnipeg.ca/2015Budget

Related links:

Last update: March 3, 2015