Steinbach Mayor Chris Goertzen says he has a mixed reaction to the new provincial budget. He says the government has again frozen municipal operating funds at 2016 levels which is a disappointment. But Goertzen adds the province also announced a small increase in infrastructure investments in rural municipalities which is positive.
The budget announced a 5 cents-per-litre carbon tax to take effect September 1. Goertzen says he is still waiting for details on how the revenue from that tax will be re-invested in Manitoba.
"We are going to be meeting with the Minister to talk about some of these things further. We know that municipalities are in a very good spot to be able to deal with flood mitigation and the effects of climate change when it comes to what actually happens on the ground. So we think we're in the best spot to be able to deliver different projects that will not only keep our communities safer from inclement weather that tends to come with climate change, but also with reducing our carbon footprint."
Goertzen adds while there were no specific measures in the budget that will directly benefit the City of Steinbach, small businesses in the community will benefit from increases in tax exemptions.
"Steinbach is full of small businesses that are making ends meet and are thriving but continue to have to work very hard for those dollars. To see some alleviation for small businesses, which make up a vast majority of businesses in Steinbach, I think is good news."