Your property taxes will go up as a result of today’s proposed budget. But the city of Winnipeg’s draft budget reaches into your wallet for an extra large frontage fee increase and more than one hundred new service fees.
Property taxes on the average $288,190 house will go up $38 (2.33%) if approved.
But frontage fees on the average 50-foot-wide lot would cost $55 more this year (from $4.35 to $5.45 per frontage foot). That’s a 25 per cent increase.
The city also wants to implement 106 new service fees. Hundreds of other fees would increase beyond the rate of inflation.
Most of the new fees are on new houses and developments.
But if you want to appeal a decision at city hall, it would cost you $250.
You would also pay a fee a $40 fee for adopting a pet through animal services. Dog licenses are going up by $5.
You will now be able to get married at city hall for $500.
The cost of your garbage and recycling pickup will go up by the rate of inflation – about two per cent.
The draft budget does not include whether or not your water bill will increase. That will be tabled at an upcoming water and waste committee meeting.
The city is also looking at a 911 fee in the future that would be added to everybody’s telephone bills. It would not be a fee if you simply call 911.
The business tax is being reduced from 5.6 to 5.3 per cent.
Where is your money going?
Two per cent of the 2.33 per cent property taxes will go towards city streets, part of an on-going 10-year plan.
About $105 million dollars will be spent on local and regional street renewal this year – about $2 million more than last year.
The other 0.33 per cent will be invested in rapid transit, also part of a long-term plan.
The increase allows Mayor Brian Bowman to keep his promise not to increase property taxes beyond the rate of inflation.
But instead, more revenue is being brought in through a large increase in frontage fees.
Ten million dollars from the frontage fee increase will be dedicated to bridge repairs on Fermor, Saskatchewan Avenue and Ness Avenue.
Bowman says the increase is a difficult decision, but helps him fulfill another promise.
“We’ve listened to Winnipeggers who want us to fix the roads. This is one way to raise revenue that’s open and transparent and dedicated to doing that,” he said.
Finance Chair Marty Morantz says he believes people appreciate the dedicated nature of the increases.
“People like to know where the money is going when they pay their taxes.”
The 106 new service fees would bring in an additional $4 to 8 million to the city this year.
Morantz says it is about cost recovery – applying the costs to the persons reaping the benefit.
“Should every taxpayer pay for somebody building a property or should that person building a property be responsible for that cost?”
President and CEO of Manitoba Homebuilders says he’s concerned the fees go way beyond inflation.
“Cost recovery will have an impact but it remains to be seen whether it will have an impact on new home construction.”
Have Your Say on the Budget
After the tabling of the budgets on March 2, the schedule of meetings to hear delegations and consider the preliminary 2016 Operating and Capital budgets include:
Friday, March 4, 2016
Standing Policy Committee on Water and Waste, Riverbank Management and the Environment (Special Meeting)
Monday, March 7, 2016
Standing Policy Committee on Protection and Community Services and Parks (regular meeting)
Tuesday, March 8, 2016
Standing Policy Committee on Property and Development, Heritage and Downtown Development (regular meeting)
Friday March 11, 2016
Winnipeg Police Board Meeting (rescheduled from March 4th)
Monday, March 14, 2016
Standing Policy Committee on Infrastructure Renewal and Public Works (rescheduled from March 1st, 2016)
Tuesday, March 15, 2016
Special Executive Policy Committee to hear delegations on Budgets
Wednesday, March 16, 2016
Executive Policy Committee to consider Standing Policy Committee recommendations and table final recommendations (regular meeting)
Tuesday, March 22, 2016
Special Meeting of Council to pass Budgets
To register as a delegation, call 311.