Polling confirms public opinion strong on removing education from property tax bill.
June 27, 2014 – WINNIPEG – As Monday’s deadline to pay school and municipal property taxes looms large for homeowners, more than half of Manitobans believe they should not be paying for public education on their local property tax bills.
In each of three province-wide Probe Research surveys taken in 2010, 2012 and 2014, consistently 50 per cent or more respondents said they would rather see public schools funded through general provincial revenues than through local property taxes.
“Manitoba REALTORS® are continually hearing from our clients and through the ongoing professional research that it’s time to change how education is funded,” said Lorne Weiss, chair of the Education Finance Coalition.(www.letspayfair.com)
Manitoba is the only province using property taxes set by trustees in local school divisions to fund a significant proportion of education costs. In many Manitoba communities, the school portion makes up more than half the property tax bill.
- In some cases, such as with cottage owners and property owners living in rural municipalities, up to 80 per cent of property tax revenue is spent on education.
- Almost one third of the entire education budget is currently shouldered by Manitoba property owners, many of whom do not have a vote on the issue of school tax mill rates.
The Education Finance Coalition unites more than 250,000 Manitobans who want the Manitoba government to finance education through general revenue, as are other core services such as health care.
The coalition includes members of up to 40 organizations including Keystone Agriculture Producers, Manitoba Real Estate Association (includes the Brandon and Portage real estate boards), WinnipegREALTORS®, Manitoba Chambers of Commerce, Manitoba Cottage Owners Association and others.