Winnipeg’s business community agrees that the private sector must pay its fair share of taxes in support of core civic services. Businesses, through individual property taxes and commercial property taxes, contribute to our civic government’s ability to meet the evolving needs of the community. The municipal business tax, however, places a disproportionate tax burden on local business, particularly small business, for which there are no corresponding services received.
Ultimately, the business tax is viewed by the private sector as a tax levied for the privilege of doing business in Winnipeg and thus a hindrance to the development of a competitive environment. This is further exacerbated by the fact that Winnipeg is one of the last major Canadian cities with a business tax.
Winnipeg Chamber of Commerce Recommendations:
- Implement an immediate cap on the revenue generated by the business tax at the 2000 Budget level of $55.9 million.
- Apply revenue in excess of the cap to lowering the business tax rate.
- Institute a series of threshold exemptions based on assessed rental property values, increasing annually over seven years, leading to the elimination of the business tax.
- Look to a combination of debt and finance charge savings, expenditure reductions and provincial government support to compensate for the elimination of the business tax.
Adopted by The Winnipeg Chamber of Commerce board of directors, September 2001