An alternative budget for Winnipeg in an election year


Winnipeg Better is acknowledging the release Tuesday of the Manitoba chapter of the Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives Winnipeg at a Crossroads: Alternative Municipal Budget 2022.

While we are a non-partisan project, we appreciate new ideas and provoking discussion about important municipal issues. Many of the left-leaning think tank’s ideas presented in the AMB are well-intentioned, presented cogently and are thought-provoking.

It’s no secret Winnipeg is strapped for cash and new revenue sources are minimal — but the problems the city faces are large.

Revenue-generating ideas in the AMB include:

  • Hiking property taxes to seven per cent (from the current 2.33 per cent), but refunding the increase to low-income households;
  • Implementing a “commuter charge” which would tax people living in bedroom communities outside the perimeter but who use the city for work or leisure (would involve the installation of a camera system at access points to identify people making “chargeable trips”);
  • Imposing a “parking lot levy” in which entities such as malls and big-box stores pay a yearly $182.50 fee per parking spot on their lots.

In all, the authors submit these and other ideas could net the city more than $107 million annually in new revenue.

The AMB also puts forward ideas on how the city can combat climate change, start to tackle food insecurity, improve Indigenous relations and leverage public libraries to help bolster the state of Canadian democracy.

The document can be found here and is also republished below.

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