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Taxpayers Federation reject Manitoba’s new tax increment financing scheme

December 12, 2018
Taxpayers Federation reject Manitoba’s new tax increment financing scheme

Dec. 12, 2018

Taxpayers Federation reject Manitoba’s new tax increment financing scheme

 

REGINA, SK: The Canadian Taxpayers Federation is rejecting the Manitoba government’s new framework for tax increment financing announced today.

 

“The provincial government’s new TIF scheme is just an attempt to improve a bad idea,” said Todd MacKay, Prairie Director for the CTF. “Here’s a better idea: the government should focus on lowering taxes for all Manitobans instead of tinkering with TIF policies that have proved disastrous for Manitoba.”

 

The province suggests that TIF stimulates projects that wouldn’t otherwise go forward by taking property taxes collected due to approved developments and giving it back to the developers. The province is changing the TIF policy to implement a more formal application process and limit payments to taxes that are actually collected.

 

However, the policy fails to account for increased costs for everything from local infrastructure to police protection that are then left to taxpayers. Further, fairness is an issue as TIF typically benefits big projects, but small businesses are left to find their own financing while continuing to pay their full tax bills.

 

Manitoba taxpayers have been stung with about $200 million in loans for Investors Group Field in large part because planned payments under a TIF framework failed to materialize due to a lack of development at the old stadium site.

 

“The province’s new TIF policy is just an overhaul of the process for bureaucrats to pick winners and losers while gambling taxpayers money,” said MacKay. “If a business plan isn’t good enough to work without taxpayers’ money, it isn’t a good business plan.

 

“Taxpayers are still waiting for the Manitoba government to keep its promise to lower the PST and it needs to focus on providing tax relief that will help everyone instead of doling out TIF money to the well-connected few.”

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