Tagging Winnipeg business owners to clean up graffiti

Business owners whose property has been covered by graffiti may have to pick up the cost of cleaning it up.

City to consider shifting responsibility to save $200K

City of Winnipeg is looking at having property owners shoulder the cost of removing graffiti, meaning business owners whose properties have been tagged may have to pick up the cleanup cost. 1:43

Business owners whose property has been covered by graffiti may have to pick up the cost of cleaning it up.

The City of Winnipeg is looking at having property owners shoulder the cost of removing it.

It's one of 25 recommendations in an external review of the city's Public Works department that in total could save the city up to $5.5 million a year.

The City of Winnipeg will consider a recommendation to shift responsibility for cleaning up graffiti to business owners whose property has been tagged. (CBC )

Currently, the city spends nearly a million dollars a year cleaning up the tags on both business and paying for a program that helps residents clean up their property.

Cities like Edmonton go even further, requiring property owners to clean up graffiti or face $250 in fines.

Tom Ethans of Take Pride Winnipeg worries shifting responsibility to business owners without the threat of a penalty would mean the graffiti would not get cleaned up at all.

"I just have seen in other cities where they have flipped the onus and it has backfired," he said. "I don't want it to backfire in Winnipeg."

The KPMG report says the city would save $200,000 if business owners were responsible for removing graffiti on their property.

The report goes before the city's executive policy committee Wednesday.

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