Why does the City of Winnipeg collect school taxes?
The provincial government’s The Public Schools Act says municipalities, such as the City of Winnipeg, must bill for, and collect, school taxes.
What happens to your school taxes?
School taxes are part of the annual statement and demand of taxes that are mailed out in May of each year to property owners. The school taxes that are billed and collected by the City are remitted to the Province and school divisions to pay for education.
What are the school taxes and what are they used for?
There are two types of school taxes. Each is set and distributed in different ways. The City has no say over how the rates are set or how the money is spent. The taxes are:
- Education Support Levy (ESL): The Province sets its mill rate which is on other property classifications only, such as commercial and industrial properties; residential and farm properties do not pay this tax.
The City collects the ESL on behalf of the Province and like all municipalities, remits this money to the Province, which adds a grant and distributes the full amount to Manitoba school divisions to pay operating expenses.
- School Division or “Special” Levy: Each of Winnipeg’s 8 school divisions sets its own budget. The City then sets each division’s mill rate according to the Province’s rules governing the “Special Levy”.
With each school division within the City of Winnipeg having their own mill rate this may cause your school taxes to be different from those paid by someone else in a similar house in a different part of the city.
The tax is charged on all taxable property in a school division. The City sends each school division the money raised in its boundaries to help to pay its operating expenses.
How do you calculate your school taxes?
School taxes are calculated the same way as your municipal taxes:
If you own property other than residential property within Winnipeg your total school taxes would be:
Do you have to pay school taxes even if you have no children in school?
Yes. Provincial law says all property owners must pay school taxes whether or not they have children in school, unless the property qualifies for a school tax exemption as referenced in Section 23(1) of the Municipal Assessment Act. Examples are some seniors housing, personal care homes, colleges or seminary of learning, community halls and museums. For a complete list consult the Municipal Assessment Act.