January 20, 2023
For Immediate Release (Winnipeg, Treaty One): Manitobans want the provincial government to keep the money earmarked for the Education Property Tax Rebate and spend it on public services instead, finds a Probe Research poll.
More than one-half (58%) of Manitobans want the provincial government to cancel the education property tax rebate and spend it on public services. See attached.
The provincial government is cutting funding to education. Annual below- inflationary spending on education, in conjunction with the loss of school board’s ability to lever education property taxes, means that school divisions are receiving less funding. This results in cuts to public education services children rely upon.
“This survey shows that most Manitobans recognize property taxes pay for important services like public education. The Manitoba government should cancel the education property tax rebate cheques and use this money to stop the cuts to public education” says Molly McCracken, Manitoba director, Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives. From 2016/17 to 2020/21, provincial funding for K – 12 education has declined 6.1 % in real (inflation adjusted) dollars on a compounded basis. The audited provincial education spending from 2021/22 is not yet available on the provincial website.
“Manitobans want students to have access to enhanced individual support, nutrition programs, mental health resources and curricula that advances Indigenous education. These rebate cheques represent more than a billion dollars that could have gone into the public school system which has already been weakened by six years of chronic underfunding.” says James Bedford, president of The Manitoba Teachers’ Society
“The education system cannot function without school support staff – educational assistants, library technicians, custodians and cleaners, secretarial staff and bus drivers. Provincial funding cuts are forcing school trustees to cut support staff positions. It is good to see most Manitobans support ending these cuts and adequately funding public education” says Gina McKay, President of the Canadian Union of Public Employees–Manitoba.
The Education Property Tax Reduction Act was passed in 2021. Since that time, the provincial government cut $992 million dollars of revenue via the provincial rebate cheques. The rebate cheques have been funded from deficit financing.
Probe Research surveyed a random and representative sampling of 1,000 adults residing in Manitoba between Nov. 22 and Dec. 5, 2022. With a sample of 1,000, one can say with 95 per cent certainty that the results are within ± 3.1 percentage points of what they would have been if the entire adult population of Manitoba had been surveyed. The margin of error is higher within each of the survey’s population sub-groups.
The Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives is an independent, charitable research institute. All research is peer reviewed.
See Probe research details here in the attachments below the press release