• 2014 09 04 Steeves BRT

    Wasylycia-Leis’s BRT plan throws Winnipeggers under the bus

    She can’t afford Phase 2 unless she raises property taxes more than 12 percent

    Mayoral candidate Gord Steeves said Judy Wasylycia-Leis’s plan for Phase 2 of Bus Rapid Transit can only happen with a property tax hike in excess of 12 percent.

    “I do not believe Judy Wasylycia-Leis has fully considered the negative impact Phase 2 of Bus Rapid Transit will have,” Steeves said. “There will be unaccounted costs associated with this project which prevents this plan from being viable.”

    Steeves questioned how Bus Rapid Transit can generate dollars through development when much of the Phase 2 through the Parker Lands runs through undevelopable right of ways populated by Manitoba Hydro transmission lines.

    Wasylycia-Leis promised to hike property taxes 12 percent before the June 23 BRT report to Winnipeg City Council was made public. She has a responsibility to explain how she will pay for Phase 2 of Bus Rapid Transit. She will have to implement a one-time five percent property tax increase, which will become part of your property tax bill for the next 30 years. This is in addition to her already promised 12 percent property tax increase.

    “That’s why I can’t support Phase 2 of BRT,” Steeves said. “This BRT plan forces Winnipeggers deeper into debt because the funding is not in place for this now. Judy Wasylycia-Leis can not complete Phase 2 without a property tax increase much higher than the 12 percent hike she has already promised.”

    Gord Steeves has a viable infrastructure renewal plan that includes a property tax freeze. Judy Wasylycia-Leis has a plan to hike property taxes and hurt taxpayers on fixed incomes and young families struggling to make ends meet.

    The choice is clear. Do voters want to spend the next four years Rebuilding Winnipeg with Gord Steeves, or paying for property tax hikes greater than 12 percent? Winnipeggers can’t afford to elect Judy Wasylycia-Leis and the NDP to City Hall.

  • 2014 09 03 Gord Sign

    Winnipeg can’t afford the Wasylycia-Leis tax and spend plan

    Moody’s ties city’s negative outlook to NDP government on Broadway

    Mayoral candidate Gord Steeves said the Moody’s Investors Service downgrade of the City of Winnipeg’s debt rating outlook shows how Winnipeg will be worse off with Judy Wasylycia-Leis as mayor. Moody’s indicated the outlook was downgraded because it is tied to debts racked up by the provincial NDP government and its inability to keep spending under control.

    “The NDP’s record on taxing Manitobans is not defensible, and if Judy Wasylycia-Leis is elected mayor, you can be assured Winnipeggers will feel that tax pain once again,” Steeves said. “These tax increases will make it nearly impossible for Winnipeg to thrive. It needs to be stopped.”

    Wasylycia-Leis has already promised a 12 percent property tax increase. However we can assume she will follow the provincial NDP government’s tax and spend policies. The links between Judy Wasylycia-Leis and the provincial NDP government responsible for record tax increases can no longer be denied. Peter Dalla-Vicenza, a senior policy analyst, has taken leave from his job in Premier Greg Selinger’s office to work on the Wasylycia-Leis campaign team. In other words, Selinger and Wasylycia-Leis are sharing the same staff.

    The very people who imposed the largest tax increase on Winnipeggers since Wasylycia-Leis’ record tax increase in 1987 are now working to expand the NDP’s tax and spend regime to City Hall.

    These policies could turn the city’s negative outlook into reality. It will cost more for the city to borrow money, which will mean Wasylycia-Leis will have to increase property taxes beyond the 12 percent she has already promised.

    The warning signs are clear. Wasylycia-Leis will bring to City Hall an NDP government Winnipeggers can’t afford. She has raised taxes before. She has already said she will do it again.

  • 2014 Gord press conference

    Choice is clear: Property tax freeze or 12 per cent tax increase?

    Steeves offers overtaxed, underserved voters a real choice

    Winnipeg voters can finally put a stop to higher taxes by electing Gord Steeves as mayor on Oct. 22. Steeves is the only candidate who has put forward a property tax freeze. Judy Wasylycia-Leis has said she will increase property taxes 12 percent if elected mayor.

    “When I was on council, we froze property taxes, yet more than doubled our spending for infrastructure,” Steeves said today. “We did it in an intelligent way which did not hurt ordinary citizens. I will not raise property taxes as mayor.”

    The tax increase proposed by Wasylycia-Leis harms young Winnipeggers looking to buy their own home, may make home ownership too costly for seniors, and will drive overtaxed Winnipeggers to neighbouring municipalities.

    In 1987, she was an NDP cabinet minister in a government that levied the single-largest tax increase in Manitoba history. She raised taxes 37 percent on ordinary Manitobans in one year. When she was in government, she supported increases to the provincial sales tax. She has raised taxes before, and she has already promised to do it again.

    This is the second-straight mayoral election where Wasylycia-Leis has said she will raise property taxes.

    Winnipeg’s residents are already among the highest-taxed citizens in Canada. Those who battle to make ends meet will find it even tougher to survive in Winnipeg with Wasylycia-Leis and the NDP in control of City Hall.

    Winnipeggers can’t afford more NDP tax and spend policies proposed by Wasylycia-Leis. On Oct. 22, voters can start Rebuilding Winnipeg by voting for Gord Steeves and his plan to freeze property taxes and fix the city’s crumbling infrastructure.

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