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Taxpayers welcome property tax relief, but looking for spending control

Author: Todd MacKay 2022/04/12

Winnipeg, MB: The Canadian Taxpayers Federation is happy to see the Manitoba government continue to phase out education property taxes, but taxpayers are looking for more spending control.

“Manitobans are paying more for everything from gas to groceries so it’s great to see the Manitoba government giving taxpayers a break on education property taxes,” said Todd MacKay, the CTF’s Prairie Director. “Phasing out Manitoba’s antiquated education property tax system will leave more money in taxpayers’ pockets and that’s a great way to grow the economy.”

Education property tax rebates will save average homeowners an average of $581 in 2022 and $774 in 2023, according to budget documents.

Provincial revenues are projected to rise from $17.8 billion last year to $19.4 billion this year. However, spending is also rising from $19.4 billion to $19.9 billion. As a result, the province is projecting an operation deficit of $548 million that will push the provincial debt up to $30.5 billion. Interest charges will cost taxpayers more than $1 billion. Meanwhile, the province isn’t planning to balance the budget until 2028/29.

Economic Development, Investment and Trade was the only one of 24 major budget lines that actually reduced spending, but that was due to federal pandemic support program wrapping up.

“This budget a missed opportunity for Manitoba to deal with the deficit,” said MacKay. “If the province had held the line on spending, the operational budget would be balanced. Manitoba needs to get serious about finding savings or we’ll see more and more tax dollars wasted on interest charges.”