Keystone Agricultural Producers (KAP) says while the announcement by the PC Party of Manitoba to remove education tax from property is a positive step forward for Manitoba farmers, it should not come at the expense of quality education funding or market vulnerabilities that could be on the horizon.
This after KAP made equitable education funding a key priority in lobbying efforts for the provincial election campaign.
“We’re encouraged to see that the PC Party of Manitoba has committed to begin a process to remove the education tax on property, which is a policy for which farmers and producers have advocated for quite some time,” said KAP President Bill Campbell. “However, KAP also believes that the next provincial government needs to take steps to ensure that rural and urban students continue to have equitable access to educational opportunities, and that this move doesn’t represent a long-term cut to the education system.”
The PC Party of Manitoba has committed to removing the education tax on property over a ten-year period beginning in 2022.
KAP says this is a positive step for Manitoba farmers; however, this also means that farmers will continue to pay more than their fair share of education funding for up to 12 years. The group adds that a ten-year shift in education funding also means that a future provincial government could rescind this decision given the arbitrary timeline and any number of financial pressures that could come into play.
KAP noted that the current education funding system in Manitoba is not equitable; by allowing local school boards to set the mill rate, per-student funding in school divisions across the province varies significantly due to differences in divisional property tax bases. The organization says this means that students in divisions with higher property values have access to more funding, and more opportunities, than students in divisions with lower property values.Click here to see more...