Winnipeggers who live in the Pembina Trails School Division are getting dinged on their property taxes — at the same time the division is cutting teachers and reducing otherclassroom staff.

The school board voted Thursday evening to increase the education tax portion by 6.2 per cent, or $71.

Education taxes

SCHOOL DIVISION TAX INCREASE PROPOSED APPROVED
Pembina Trails 6.2 % Yes
Seven Oaks 6.0 Not yet
River East Transcona 2.9 Yes
Louis Riel 2.9 Not yet
Interlake 5.14 Not yet
Seine River not available Not yet
St. James – Assiniboia 3.3 Not yet
Winnipeg School Division 8.0 Not yet

According to the school division, factors that contribute to the increase are:

  • General reassessment which has shifted taxes from commercial to residential property.
  • Limited increase in revenue (including essentially no increase from the Provincial Funding of Schools Program).
  • Increases in expenditures.
  • Discontinuation of the Tax Incentive Grant.
  • No expected increase in the Education Property Tax Credit. 

Craig Stahlke, secretary treasurer of the board, said trustees did the best they could, given shrinking revenue and higher costs.

"Homeowners, of course, will not be happy to receive an increase but if you take a look at this increase in context, I think most people will understand," he said.

He promised the quality of education will not be affected by the staff cuts.

Expensive year for homeowners

That Pembina division's tax increase is on top of the 3.5 per cent being proposed by the City of Winnipeg. For homeowners, that means an extra $48 to $60 a year, based on the average assessed home of $235,000.

It's all part of a more expensive year for Winnipeggers, who are also facing a potential six per cent increase in water and sewer rates, adding about $51 a year to the typical bill.

As well, a new trash collection system will tack $50 annually onto residents' water bills.

School taxes up in River East-Transcona

Earlier this week, trustees in the River East Transcona School Division  voted for a 2.9 per cent education tax increase for homeowners.

"For the last two years, we’ve been able to freeze taxes thanks to the province’s tax incentive grant [TIG], which was meant to help school boards hold the line on taxes. But now the TIG has been discontinued, which accounts for the increase in the local levy this year," said trustee George Marshall, chair of the RETSD finance committee.