WINNIPEG – The City of Winnipeg is proposing a 2.33 per cent increase in property taxes in its 2017 preliminary budget.
The preliminary budget of $1,08 billion was released Tuesday morning at a special Executive Policy Committee Meeting (EPC) at City Hall.
The property tax increase would result in the average homeowner paying $38 more a year in tax. The average home in 2017 in Winnipeg is around $288,190.
Two per cent of the property tax increase is dedicated to regional and local roads, and 0.33 per cent is going towards rapid transit. This is the same as last year’s budget.
The taxes are rising at the rate of inflation, which is a campaign promise Bowman ran on in 2014.
Infrastructure and street renewal
The street renewal program this year is $105.2 million, which is the same as the 2016 budget.
Funding for the transit budget is down around $9 million in the 2017 preliminary budget. Despite a decrease in funding for transit, there is $191 million set aside for spending.
This includes more than $50 million going towards revamping and bus maintenance facilities, and spending $22.4 million on new buses.
The preliminary budget is also adding funds for extended bus routes.
Amber Trails is extending its route to the Maples, and providing service seven days a week.
Bridgewater Lakes and Bridgewater Centre also is getting extended routes. Routes 84 and 86 will have service seven days a week, all day service.
Route 72 in South Pointe now has a daytime service connection to the University of Manitoba.
Police and fire services
A total of $288 million is going towards the police service, which has gone up the rate of inflation (an increase of $3.6 million from last year’s budget).
The budget for Fire and Paramedic Service has gone up more than four per cent from 2016 (a total of $199 million). This includes money for more firefighting equipment, maintaining existing fire halls and enforcing new fire prevention.
Portage and Main
The reopening of Portage and Main is not included in the 2017 preliminary budget. Bowman had previously said he hoped to have the intersection open to pedestrians by the 2017 Summer Games in July. However, the project did not make the cut, as it was too expensive.
Other 2017 budget highlights
- Business tax is slightly going down from 5.3 per cent to 5.25 percent.
- $750,000 is going towards the 2017 Canada Summer Games.
- $20 million for a new police station in north Winnipeg.
- $5.2 million is going towards the Tache Promenade, a pedestrian promenade along the Red River between the Provoncher and Norwood Bridge.
- $1.75 million to support the Aboriginal Youth Strategy.
- Nearly $8 million is going to repair and upgrade the Seven Oaks pool.
- Assiniboine Park Conservancy is getting $10.8 million for infrastructure renewal efforts.
There is no increase in frontage leverage fees, which is staying at $5.45 per square footage. Water and sewage rates are also staying the same.
Impact fee are not not being used in the operating and capital budget however $1 million is included in the reserve fund.
After the tabling of the budgets Tuesday, the schedule of meetings to hear delegations and consider the preliminary 2017 Operating and Capital budgets include:
- Nov. 28, 2016 – Standing Policy Committee on Water and Waste, Riverbank Management and the Environment
- Nov. 29, 2016 – Standing Policy Committee on Infrastructure Renewal and Public Works
- Dec. 2, 2016 – Standing Policy Committee on Protection and Community Services and Parks
- Dec. 5, 2016 – Standing Policy Committee on Property and Development, Heritage and Downtown Development
- Dec. 6, 2016 – Winnipeg Police Board
- Dec. 8, 2016 – Special Executive Policy Committee to hear delegations on budgets
- Dec. 9, 2016 – Special Executive Policy Committee to consider Standing Policy Committee recommendations and table final recommendations
- Dec. 13, 2016 – Special Meeting of Council to pass budgets