Not all cities are created equal
WINNIPEG - December 02, 2002 - City of Winnipeg research compiled over the last three years shows that not all cities are created equal.
The research, conducted by the office of the Chief Administrator, shows that the City of Winnipeg collects less property tax on a per capita basis than Edmonton and Calgary, but homeowners in Winnipeg pay a larger portion of property tax than the residents in the other two western cities, where businesses carry more of the tax burden.
"For every loonie a Winnipegger pays in property tax, a Winnipeg business pays $1.40. In Calgary for every loonie a Calgary homeowner pays in property tax the business pays $3.00. Our commercial property tax is lower than most, compared to our residential property tax," said CAO Gail Stephens.
The research helps debunk the myth that property taxes in Winnipeg are higher than elsewhere. Part of the misconception is based on what the homeowner doesn't see when he or she opens the tax bill.
"When we open our tax bill we don't always read the small print. When we do we see that more than half of the tax bill does not go to street repairs, police service, garbage pick up or keeping our water clean and clear. It goes to school divisions to provide education. In fact the school taxes make up more than 50 per cent of the tax bill," Stephens said.
Mayor Glen Murray, who asked for the research to be conducted, says that other cities have money flowing in from all kinds of other revenue pipelines. Those include franchise fees, charges on utility companies, user fees. Winnipeg doesn't.
"Changing any of these things requires support from the province. And fortunately we have an excellent relationship with the province and they are looking at another round of reviews of the City of Winnipeg Act. That allows us to talk about building some other revenue pipelines," Murray says.
Not all cities are created equal (pdf, 361kb)
Last update: 10.01.2005
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