WINNIPEG — All six Winnipeg school divisions have passed their budgets for this year, and they all include a tax increase.
The hardest hit areas are Seven Oaks School Division with a 4.7 per cent increase and Louis Riel with a 5.31 per cent increase.
Louis Riel School Division board chairwoman Louise Johnston agrees that’s a lot.
“Yes I do. I’m a taxpayer in this division as well, but I do believe it’s investing in our kids, our staff and our infrastructure.”
Including the proposed 2.3 per cent property tax increase and a frontage levy, the average home in Louis Riel — assessed at $292,200 — will pay $89 more, boosting the annual total tax bill to just over $3,000.
Homes that are assessed a lot higher, in neighbourhoods such as Sage Creek and Royalwood, face tax bills of almost $5,400.
“We’re not crazy about it,” said Anita Young, out walking with her young family in Royalwood Thursday. “We have three kids. That’s quiet costly, especially living in the area we live in.”
Chris Pacheco’s house in Seven Oaks School Division is valued at $160,000. He faces an extra $39 a year, with a total tax bill of almost $1,700.
“Frustrating, yes, absolutely,” said Pacheco, “especially for someone who doesn’t have children.”
Seven Oaks School Division superintendent Brian O’Leary said with growth come more expenses.
“We’re dealing with a lot of challenges. They include an increase in costs and continuing enrolment growth.”
School tax increases by school division:
Louis Riel – 5.31%
Seven Oaks – 4.7%
St. James-Assiniboia – 3.43%
Winnipeg – 3.2%
River East Transcona – 2.2%
Pembina Trails – 2.2%
CORRECTION: An earlier version of this story included the tax increase reported in the Pembina Trails School Division’s draft budget. The budget passed March 12 had a lower increase than called for in the draft budget.