WINNIPEG —; While property taxes bring in more than a half a billion dollars, that’s only half of the revenue needed to keep the city running.
It’s why city mayors have been saying for years, they need new sources of money, a fight that has gone no where so far.
“I know we have huge infrastructure problems,” former mayor Glen Murray said in a 2003 interview.
For more than a decade, former mayors have been calling for a new funding formula from the province and Ottawa.
“I want to change things and I think we can change things for the better here,” Murray said.
10 years later, former mayor Sam Katz fought for the same thing.
“It appears they don’t seem to really care about the infrastructure for the city of Winnipeg,” Katz said in a 2013 interview, and the argument continues today with current Mayor Brian Bowman.
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“We need to hear from the provincial leaders, that they agree that the current funding model and the manner in which we have our say, is not working for municipalities,” Bowman said on Friday.
Without a new funding formula, Jino Distasio, a Urban Studies professor at the University of Winnipeg said municipalities have few choices if they want more revenue.
“We’re at a point now where some things got to give either taxes continue to go up, we either cut services, we either transfer from other levels of government or we have to find a fundamentally different way in which we fund cities,” Distasio said.
Unless they consider a more radical option, like toll roads.
“If we really want high quality roadways say to cottage country or say to other parts of Manitoba maybe that’s something to think about,” Distasio said.
Because 13 years and three mayors later, we’re still no closer to a solution.