Manitoba has the highest education taxes on properties of all the Canadian provinces and territories. In 2012, Manitoba was the only province or territory to levy two education property taxes, the education support levy (province) and special levy (school divisions).
Four provinces, Newfoundland and Labrador, Nova Scotia, New Brunswick, Prince Edward Island and two territories, Yukon and Nunavut, do not have education property taxes.
In the majority of the remaining provinces, the education property tax is levied by the provincial government. Ontario has an education tax of .221000 per cent equivalent to a mill rate of 2.21 mills. Saskatchewan’s mill rate is 9.51 mills residential, 3.91 mills agriculture. Alberta has a mill rate of 2.70 residential/farm. The Northwest Territories has five municipal rates ranging from 2.57 to 4.52 mills. British Columbia varies, but residential properties only account for 13 per cent of funding.
Of the two provinces that still allow school divisions to levy education property taxes, Quebec has a mill rate of 2.7884 mills. According to the 2011-12 Frame Report issued by Manitoba Education the average school division mill rate in Manitoba is 16.0 mills.
In a news release on Sept. 18, 2011 during the last election the premier of Manitoba promised to eliminate school taxes for seniors and farmland.
The premier boasted that the NDP will have eliminated a total of five taxes in Manitoba: the seniors school tax, the farmlands school tax, the residential education support levy, the small business tax and the corporation capital tax.
In 2013, seniors still pay education taxes on their properties. Farmland also is still taxed. The education support levy still applies to commercial property.
The 2011-12 Financial and Accounting in Manitoba Education Report shows that the education support levy raised $140.8 million. In the 1999 Frame Report, the year the NDP government was elected the education support levy was $199.2 million. Net decrease in education support levy from 1991 through 2012 is $58.4 million.
However, the special levy imposed by the local school divisions during the same time frame increased from $401.7 million in 1999 to $734.2 million in 2011-12. The elimination of the education support levy on residential properties has simply been replaced by special levy increases imposed by the school divisions.
The net increase in education property taxes from 1999 to 2011-12 is $332.5 million.
In an article in the Winnipeg Sun on June 18, 2011 by Tom Brodbeck, he terms the NDP Party to be the New Deceit Party.
This term is very appropriate as it relates to education property taxes.
Republished from the Brandon Sun print edition March 14, 2013