Manitoba

Canadian Museum for Human Rights value disputed by feds, Winnipeg

The City of Winnipeg and the federal government disagree about how much the Canadian Museum for Human Rights building is worth, and the city's finance committee chairman wants that dispute resolved soon.

$70M discrepancy in assessed value has thrown off city's tax bill, councillor says

The city has assessed the Canadian Museum for Human Rights building at approximately $100 million, while the federal government has pegged its value at around $30 million. (Sara Calnek/CBC)

The City of Winnipeg and the federal government disagree about how much the Canadian Museum for Human Rights building is worth, and the city's finance committee chairman wants that dispute resolved soon.

The city has assessed the museum building at approximately $100 million, while the federal government has pegged its value at around $30 million.

Coun. Marty Morantz, who chairs the finance committee, wondered about that discrepancy on Friday, saying the difference in value has thrown off the city's revenue by $6.7 million.

The city, Morantz said, is not only short money, but it also has to pay the school tax portion of the building's assessment to the province. The City of Winnipeg collects property taxes but forwards the education portion of the bill to the province.

"Of course, we don't have that problem with ordinary property taxes, because property owners are obligated by law to pay. The federal government has this discretion to not pay at all or pay it all or pay part of it," he said.

Technically, the federal government doesn't pay taxes to the city, but makes a payment in lieu of taxes. Disagreements over the amount owed are not uncommon.

Morantz said he's been working with South Winnipeg Liberal MP Terry Duguid on the issue.

The dispute will likely be heard by a special panel to be set up by the federal government to deal with this type of disagreement, Morantz added.

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