Manitobans face higher fees, taxes in 2013
Manitobans will dig deeper into their wallets for basic services in 2013 while governments reach deeper into workers' pay packets.
Winnipeg Transit fares rise by five cents to $2.50 for a bus ride and the price of a monthly pass rises by more than $5 to $82.80 or $41.40 for seniors — a hike of $2.90.
Air travellers through Winnipeg's James Richardson International Airport will see the departure tax rise from $20 to $25 per passenger, while a new five-year Canadian passport will jump to $120 in July from the current price of $87.
Postage rates are also going up Jan. 14.
Colin Craig of the Canadian Taxpayers Federation said Manitoba is one of only three provinces that does not adjust tax brackets to inflation.
That means pay increases can be eaten up by tax hikes as earners move into higher tax brackets.
"This form of taxation happens behind the scenes," said Craig. "Most people don't even know it's happening."
Utility costs also will rise in 2013, as Manitoba Hydro seeks approval for a 3.5 per cent hike in April, following a 2.5 per cent hike in 2012.
Meanwhile most salaried workers will pay more in Canada Pension Plan and Employment Insurance premiums in 2013.
"CPP is going up, same with EI," said Craig, noting that Canadians earning at least $47,400 will pay $891.12 in EI premiums in 2013, up $51.50. Employers will pay $1,247.57, an increase of $71.61.
"There's a whole bunch of other taxes that are on the horizon that look like they are going to go up," he said.
"It's a big problem that government spending is increasing faster than what most people's paycheques are going up by."