March 20, 2019 10:53 am
Updated: March 20, 2019 11:53 am

Bowman threatens to vote against collecting school taxes for Province

Winnipeg mayor Brian Bowman has a bone to pick with his provincial counterpart over education taxes.

Global News / file

The city of Winnipeg will pass its 2019 budget Wednesday, but it’s not without some controversy.

The ongoing funding feud between city and province has reared its head once again, this time over the issue of school taxes.

Winnipeg mayor Brian Bowman told 680 CJOB that there are concerns about the province’s reduction in support for education, and that it can also be confusing for residents to pay the city for school taxes, as education is a provincial mandate.

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“Provincial governments have required municipalities, like the city of Winnipeg, to approve at council tax increases and tax rates that are set by another elected body, which are school divisions,” said Bowman.

Bowman said the province needs to change the system, or he’ll vote against collecting those taxes next year.

“The province – while they’re doing this education review right now – they kickstarted this discussion,” he said.

“They’re also dictating to school divisions what their rates should be, and then we’re required to send the bill out, while we’re also, at times, being attacked for property taxes being high.

“The province could get it off the municipal property tax bill, and lower Winnipeg taxpayers’ ultimate bill by about half with the stroke of a pen.”

Bowman said he objects to the being told by the province that he has to vote a certain way on school taxes, and that he’ll encourage his colleagues on council to vote against provincial recommendations if need be.

“Education is a provincial responsibility,” he said.

“We’re democratically elected. We can vote yay or nay on something on the floor. I’m going to vote the way I feel is appropriate for the citizens I serve.”

WATCH: Manitoba premier and Winnipeg mayor spar over budget delay

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