WINNIPEG – A controversial new report is recommending Winnipeg move ahead with fees on new developments.
A consultant firm hired by the city says the fees are needed to help pay for growth, and services needed in new neighbourhoods.
It’s recommending a fee of $18,000 be charged on a new 1,800 sq ft. home. The report is also suggesting fees be charged per square metre on new office buildings, retail, industrial builds.
The report suggests fees be charged at the following rates: $109.45 per square meter of residential space (approximately $10 per square foot), $226.51 per square meter for office space (approximately $22 per square foot) , $152.91 per square meter for commercial space (approximately $15 per square foot) and, $61.16 per square meter for industrial (approximately $6 per square foot)
It appears to leave the door open on where and how those fees would be applied.
The fees would help pay for services like transit, fire and paramedic, parks, water, waste collection. The report suggests the fees could help reduce the need for as many big property tax increases in the future.
Mayor Brian Bowman says he’s been advised the city has the authority to legally implement fees but it will be up to city council to decide. He is a supporter of the fees.
Bowman says he’s willing to meet with stakeholders to discuss the fees.
One of those stakeholders is Mike Moore from the Manitoba Home Builders’ Association is calling the fees a “tax”
“If we just arbitrarily tax new housing, there’s a number of possible ramifications. One is that the growth and development moves outside the city,” he says.