Condo Taxpayers of Winnipeg Beware! Your Condo Fees may increase!

S.J. writes:

Dear Paul: Can the City of Winnipeg stop collecting our garbage even though we are currently paying for this service through our property taxes? Would they reduce our property taxes accordingly? What do you thinking? What can we do about it?

Paul replies:

Dear S.J.: In recent media reports the City of Winnipeg Standing Policy Committee on Water and Waste, Riverbank Management and the Environment are discussing a recommendation from a 2016 report that a way to save the city money is to stop collecting solid waste (garbage) from multi-family dwellings. This would include Condos and apartment rental buildings. At present, the city picks up the garbage from these properties at no additional cost to you. It is included in your taxes. Should the city follow through with this plan, I doubt very much that your taxes will be reduced accordingly. This will require an increase in your monthly Condo Fees.  

The recommendation being discussed reads as follow:

Implications of the Recommended Target to Balance Operating Budget Solid Waste Collection Services

a. Reduce single family contract costs: Due to favourable price adjustments. No impact to customer.

b. Discontinue garbage bin collection for multi-family, charity and commercial customers: Service level reduction using a staged approach factoring in expiring contracts. Impacted customers would select service directly through private contractors.

Reference: November 25, 2019, Standing Policy Committee on Water and Waste, Riverbank Management and the Environment Special Meeting Minutes

What can you do?

  • Ensure that your Board is aware of this possibility and writes a letter of protest to the council;
  • Tell all your friends and neighbours in condos or apartment buildings;
  • Keep informed of the progress of this proposal;
  • Contact your city councillor and let them know that this is not appropriate;
  • Write to the councillors on the Standing Policy Committee on Water and Waste, Riverbank Management and the Environment;
  • If allowed, Attend a committee meeting;
  • Ask your Board to give you an idea of the increased cost of garbage collection if the city downloads the cost to your condo corporation;

The old adage that “you cannot fight city hall” is false. You can with facts, information and perseverance. Remember that the council works for you. You may have to remind it of that periodically. This is one of those times. Good Luck!

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