WINNIPEG — In his first budget since assuming office last fall, Winnipeg Mayor Scott Gillingham has made good on his promise to raise property taxes.
Gillingham unveiled the city’s preliminary 2023 budget on Wednesday, which also proposes an increase to the frontage levy fee.
The city plans to increase property taxes by 3.5 percent this year, which works out to be about $142 more per year for the average homeowner.
Property owners will also see an increase to the frontage levy fee at $1.50 more per frontage foot, raising almost $18 million for road work and active transportation investments.
The combined pair of hikes will bring in an additional $42 million in revenue for the city.
“The pandemic has had a severe impact on city finances over the past three years,” said Gillingham. “But now is the time to reinvest in priorities like transit capacity, road safety, tree planting and pruning, and better customer service so that together, we can build a stronger Winnipeg.”
The city’s business tax rate is remaining unchanged from 2022 at 4.84 percent.
2023 city budget highlights
- 311 investment: The city is increasing the budget for 311 by 25 percent to improve service response times.
- Neighbourhood Action Teams: $450,000 to develop a specialized team of workers to tackle landscaping duties and carry out road and curb repairs.
- Road renewal: Increasing the investment in road renewals by $18.9 million over the 2022 forecast, including $8 million more for active transportation.
- Chief Peguis and Route 90/Kenaston expansion: $2.8 million to advance trade corridor upgrades through planning and design for the expansion of the two busy arteries.
- Winnipeg Transit safety: $5 million to launch a major transit safety team initiative.
- Downtown safety: $100,000 for additional security at the Millennium Library, $1 million for more 24/7 safe spaces for unsheltered and at-risk Winnipeggers, and $250,000 in annual funding for the Downtown Community Safety Partnership.
- Permit staffing: $488,000 for permanent permit staff, and $2 million to maintain temporary staff to improve building permit processing.
- Tree canopy: $3.6 million to protect and renew Winnipeg’s tree canopy.
- Electric buses: $22.3 million for transitioning the city’s bus fleet to electric buses.
- New southwest fire paramedic station: $10.9 million for a new fire paramedic station in Waverley West in 2024 to be heated and cooled by geothermal technology.
The city’s standing policy committee will review the 2023 budget starting March 3, with a city council debate scheduled for March 22.