Submitted by Association of Manitoba Municipalities
Manitoba municipalities are growing quickly – many at, or sometimes far faster than, the national average. To keep the growing going, municipalities often pay far more than their fair share to create jobs and improve services that benefit the provincial economy. It’s an unfair strategy that must change, according to Manitobans.
In a recent public opinion poll, conducted for the Association of Manitoba Municipalities (AMM), Manitobans overwhelming agreed that the Province should more fairly support municipalities given that the growth they generate fuels Manitoba’s economic strength.
A total of 751 live calling interviews were conducted province-wide by NRG Research August 22-27, 2019. Results represent a margin of error of +/- 3.7 per cent, 19 times out of 20. Results show:
- Eighty-five per cent of Manitobans agree, with 52 per cent in strong agreement, that the Manitoba government should support municipalities with a fair share of funding given that their growth benefits the entire provincial economy.
- In a second question, 75 per cent of Manitobans also agreed that the provincial government should rebate municipalities on the PST they pay, similar to the rebate they receive from the federal government on the GST paid.
As the 2019 provincial election campaign began, AMM and its 137-member strong, province-wide coalition of mayors and reeves called on the next government to work as “Partners in Growth” to:
- Ensure long-term, stable and predictable funding, after a three-year funding freeze.
- Provide funding tied to Manitoba’s GDP to support more municipal growth.
- Rebate the PST municipalities pay, consistent with federal rebate of the GST.
- Move to multi-year budgeting to assist with long-term planning and priority setting.
“With such strong support from Manitobans, as indicated in our recent poll, we are hopeful that the provincial government will take a Team Manitoba approach to fairly funding growth opportunities across the province,” AMM president Ralph Groening noted.
This article originally appeared in the Fall 2019 issue of The Municipal Leader and is re-printed here with permission.