62 per cent of Manitobans oppose giving new tax powers to municipalities
Winnipeg, February 26, 2016 – The Association of Manitoba Municipalities (AMM) is pushing the provincial government to give municipalities new taxing powers, against the clear wishes of Manitobans. Six in 10 Manitobans are against municipalities receiving new taxing powers, according to the latest poll results from the CFIB.
A recent public opinion poll conducted by NRG Research Group for CFIB found 62 per cent of Manitobans oppose providing new taxing powers to municipalities (see Figure 1). A similar CFIB member survey found 81 per cent of Manitoba small business owners are against new municipal taxing powers (see Figure 2).
“Municipal leaders need to stop using the infrastructure deficit as a stock excuse for new and higher taxes,” said Elliot Sims, CFIB director of provincial affairs for Manitoba. “If local governments put as much time into tackling their unsustainable labour costs as they do asking senior levels of government for more funding, Manitoba would be much further ahead in creating a competitive small business climate.”
CFIB’s latest Manitoba Municipal Spending Watch report shows Manitoba local governments have increased inflation-adjusted operating spending three times faster than population growth between 2008 and 2013. Inflated operating spending forced local governments to raise taxes and reduce infrastructure investment at a cost of over $100 million annually.
“Manitobans know municipalities have a spending problem, not a revenue problem,” added Sims. “Any discussion about a new deal on taxes, taxing powers and funding models is premature until local governments get their operating spending under control.”
Read CFIB’s survey backgrounder for full polling results.
To arrange an interview with Elliot Sims, please call 1-888-234-2232, 204-982-0817, or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org. You can also follow Elliot on Twitter at @cfibMB
CFIB is Canada’s largest association of small- and medium-sized businesses with 109,000 members (4,800 in Manitoba) across every sector and region.