Skip to main content
The Globe and Mail
Support Quality Journalism.
The Globe and Mail
First Access to Latest
Investment News
Collection of curated
e-books and guides
Inform your decisions via
Globe Investor Tools
Just$1.99
per week
for first 24 weeks

Enjoy unlimited digital access
Enjoy Unlimited Digital Access
Get full access to globeandmail.com
Just $1.99 per week for the first 24 weeks
Just $1.99 per week for the first 24 weeks
var select={root:".js-sub-pencil",control:".js-sub-pencil-control",open:"o-sub-pencil--open",closed:"o-sub-pencil--closed"},dom={},allowExpand=!0;function pencilInit(o){var e=arguments.length>1&&void 0!==arguments[1]&&arguments[1];select.root=o,dom.root=document.querySelector(select.root),dom.root&&(dom.control=document.querySelector(select.control),dom.control.addEventListener("click",onToggleClicked),setPanelState(e),window.addEventListener("scroll",onWindowScroll),dom.root.removeAttribute("hidden"))}function isPanelOpen(){return dom.root.classList.contains(select.open)}function setPanelState(o){dom.root.classList[o?"add":"remove"](select.open),dom.root.classList[o?"remove":"add"](select.closed),dom.control.setAttribute("aria-expanded",o)}function onToggleClicked(){var l=!isPanelOpen();setPanelState(l)}function onWindowScroll(){window.requestAnimationFrame(function() {var l=isPanelOpen(),n=0===(document.body.scrollTop||document.documentElement.scrollTop);n||l||!allowExpand?n&&l&&(allowExpand=!0,setPanelState(!1)):(allowExpand=!1,setPanelState(!0))});}pencilInit(".js-sub-pencil",!1); // via darwin-bg var slideIndex = 0; carousel(); function carousel() { var i; var x = document.getElementsByClassName("subs_valueprop"); for (i = 0; i < x.length; i++) { x[i].style.display = "none"; } slideIndex++; if (slideIndex> x.length) { slideIndex = 1; } x[slideIndex - 1].style.display = "block"; setTimeout(carousel, 2500); } //

Mantitoba Finance Minister Scott Fielding speaks with the media in Ottawa, on Dec. 17, 2019.

Adrian Wyld/The Canadian Press

Manitobans will soon pay less in property tax but fork out more to stream movies or buy certain goods online.

The Progressive Conservative government’s 2021-22 budget released Wednesday includes some long-promised tax relief, some new tax revenues from the digital economy and millions of dollars in promised COVID-19 relief.

“Our plan is to really protect Manitobans through COVID-19 and advance the provincial economy past the pandemic,” Finance Minister Scott Fielding said.

Story continues below advertisement

The budget includes the first step in a plan to phase out education taxes on property and instead fund schools directly from provincial coffers.

Manitoba's Progressive Conservative government’s tabled the 2021-22 budget Wednesday which it says balances tax relief with a COVID-19 recovery plan. Premier Brian Pallister says tax cuts are important for Manitobans even as the province tackles a $1.6 billion deficit. The Canadian Press

Residential and farmland owners are to receive a 25-per-cent rebate this year, while owners of commercial and other land are to get a 10-per-cent rebate. The rebates are to be cut again by equal amounts next year, resulting in total savings of $1,100 for the average homeowner, the government said.

The province also plans to cut vehicle registration fees by 10 per cent as of July and is to eliminate the provincial sales tax from spa and salon services starting in December.

Businesses are to get a tax break to encourage hiring. The threshold at which companies start to pay the province’s payroll tax is to rise in January to $1.75-million from $1.5-million of total payroll. The threshold at which companies pay a higher rate will rise to $3.5-million from $3-million.

Taxes elsewhere, however, are increasing. Digital streaming services such as Netflix and Spotify can expect to be subject to the provincial sales tax as of Dec. 1, as will online accommodation bookings through companies such as Airbnb Inc. The move brings Manitoba in line with most other provinces.

Online marketplaces such as Amazon.com Inc. and Best Buy Co. Inc. will have to start collecting provincial sales tax on items sold by third parties as of Dec. 1. They are already required to collect the tax on items they sell directly. Used items sold privately by individuals through sites such as Kijiji will continue to be exempt.

“We think there’s an advantage in levelling the playing field with local suppliers,” Mr. Fielding said.

Story continues below advertisement

The budget forecasts a $1.6-billion deficit this fiscal year on total spending of $19.4-billion. It’s the second-highest deficit in the province’s history, behind last year’s $2-billion mark.

The opposition parties said the property tax cuts will be costly.

“It’s coming from underfunding seniors care ... it’s coming from underfunding the education system,” NDP Leader Wab Kinew said.

“That’s not the right approach, least of all while the pandemic is still ongoing.”

Liberal Leader Dougald Lamont said the property tax cut will mainly benefit people who are already well off.

“It’s overwhelmingly geared to helping people ... who don’t need help.”

Story continues below advertisement

Premier Brian Pallister disagreed.

“Given the insecurities of COVID and the realities of what it’s done ... I think this is the right time to give Manitobans a little bit of a break.”

The government is also promising more help for health care and the economy as the pandemic continues.

More than $62-million is being committed to boosting job creation and work force training, Mr. Fielding said. Some $25-million is to be put up to help employers hire students and young adults.

A day before the budget, Mr. Fielding promised $1.2-billion in COVID-19 spending for things such as protective equipment and extra staffing at vaccination centres, although the budget provided few details.

Labour leaders said the province must do much more to speed up vaccinations and protect front-line workers.

Story continues below advertisement

“Instead of making urgent investments needed to address the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic ... they are pushing forward with unaffordable tax cuts,” Michelle Gawronsky, president of the Manitoba Government and General Employees’ Union, said in a written statement.

To help renters, the guideline for increases in rent-controlled units will be zero in 2022 and 2023, following a 1.6-per-cent increase this year. Landlords who want to raise rents above the guideline must demonstrate that the guideline amount would not cover cost increases they face.

Our Morning Update and Evening Update newsletters are written by Globe editors, giving you a concise summary of the day’s most important headlines. Sign up today.

Your Globe

Build your personal news feed

  1. Follow topics and authors relevant to your reading interests.
  2. Check your Following feed daily, and never miss an article. Access your Following feed from your account menu at the top right corner of every page.

Follow topics related to this article:

View more suggestions in Following Read more about following topics and authors
Report an error
Due to technical reasons, we have temporarily removed commenting from our articles. We hope to have this fixed soon. Thank you for your patience. If you are looking to give feedback on our new site, please send it along to feedback@globeandmail.com. If you want to write a letter to the editor, please forward to letters@globeandmail.com.

Welcome to The Globe and Mail’s comment community. This is a space where subscribers can engage with each other and Globe staff. Non-subscribers can read and sort comments but will not be able to engage with them in any way. Click here to subscribe.

If you would like to write a letter to the editor, please forward it to letters@globeandmail.com. Readers can also interact with The Globe on Facebook and Twitter .

Welcome to The Globe and Mail’s comment community. This is a space where subscribers can engage with each other and Globe staff. Non-subscribers can read and sort comments but will not be able to engage with them in any way. Click here to subscribe.

If you would like to write a letter to the editor, please forward it to letters@globeandmail.com. Readers can also interact with The Globe on Facebook and Twitter .

Welcome to The Globe and Mail’s comment community. This is a space where subscribers can engage with each other and Globe staff.

We aim to create a safe and valuable space for discussion and debate. That means:

  • Treat others as you wish to be treated
  • Criticize ideas, not people
  • Stay on topic
  • Avoid the use of toxic and offensive language
  • Flag bad behaviour

If you do not see your comment posted immediately, it is being reviewed by the moderation team and may appear shortly, generally within an hour.

We aim to have all comments reviewed in a timely manner.

Comments that violate our community guidelines will not be posted.

UPDATED: Read our community guidelines here

Discussion loading ...

To view this site properly, enable cookies in your browser. Read our privacy policy to learn more.
How to enable cookies