City's New Deal proposes a 2 per cent solutionWINNIPEG - April 6, 2004 - Two per cent more. That’s all that separates Winnipeg from being a city with crumbling infrastructure, to one that has the financial resources to not only repair existing assets but also invest in becoming a creative and vibrant city.
“This version of the New Deal is entirely based on citizen feedback,” said Mayor Glen Murray. “Our consultation process in the fall of 2003 was intensive and inclusive. Loud and clear the message was, broaden the tax base, don’t broaden the tax burden. Share more of the wealth that we’re already giving to governments.”
Indeed polls taken following the New Deal consultation period supported the need to address Winnipeg’s infrastructure problems through intergovernmental tax shifting.
Based on that feedback, here’s what the City’s revised New Deal proposes:
“We’re calling this the 2% solution,” added the Mayor. The city currently collects 7% of all taxes generated in Winnipeg. With our New Deal proposal, we’re asking the other levels of government to invest in our city. We are asking for 2% more of the total tax pie. This proposal reflects what Winnipeg citizens have asked for”
In mid March, the New Deal proposal was forwarded to the Provincial government for their consideration and review. The Federal, provincial and city governments will now collectively forge the New Deal.
“This New Deal provides a pretty simple solution to a pretty big problem,” said Councillor Bill Clement. “Citizens have helped us craft this New Deal, now all levels of government need to find the resolve to follow through to assist our city to grow and prosper.”
This simpler New Deal package has dropped several of the consumer-based tax shifting ideas. These have not been included, in some cases because of public feedback, and also to assure that several of the basic principles of any New Deal proposal were maintained: equity, efficiency, ease of administration, environment and the economy.
This latest New Deal has undergone analysis by The Conference Board
of Canada, one of the foremost independent, not-for-profit applied
research organizations in Canada.
The Conference Board concludes that, the overall impact on the City’s finances due to the proposed new fiscal arrangement results in the City being able to meet its infrastructure needs and also be in a financially sustainable position over the long run.
The Conference Board also concludes the New Deal would have significant positive economic impact on the Winnipeg economy due to the increased infrastructure spending. Employment is forecast to rise by 1,000 jobs in 2005 and increase steadily to 2,300 new jobs by 2020. Real GDP (Gross Domestic Product) is expected to be approximately 1% above current projections.
Last update: 06.04.2004
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