The City of Winnipeg has not borrowed money in years and in the most recent capital budget, debt payment cost was nearly doubled - all good news.
From the Winnipeg Free Press (subscribers only):
In 1995, when the tax-supported portion of the overall debt was $530 million, Winnipeg taxpayers were on the hook for $89 million worth of principal and interest payments, Steski said.
In 2005, when tax-supported debt declined to $264 million, principal and interest payments went down to $56 million.
In other words, Winnipeggers paid $33 million less in taxes to service debt last year than they did a decade earlier, which is enough money to pay for most of this year's road repairs, or all of Winnipeg Transit's new hybrid diesel-electric buses.
"We've cut the principal so much, we've been able to allocate those resources to other areas," beamed Adrienne Batra, spokeswoman for the Canadian Taxpayers Federation.
"Today's debts are tomorrow's taxes. We're happy this (mayoral) administration has maintained the principle of previous ones in their commitment to stop borrowing." The utility debt, meanwhile, has shrunk dramatically due to the 2002 sale of Winnipeg Hydro. Between 2001 and 2002, utility debt dropped by $232 million, with $166 million of that red ink wiped out by the hydro sale.
Thursday, February 09, 2006
Posted by Adrienne Batra at 9:23 AM
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