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Mayor Sam Katz
Photo by Rhonda Spivak.


By Rhonda Spivak, October 27, 2010

Mayor Sam Katz, who has just been re-elected on October 27 spoke to the Winnipeg Jewish Review to outline some of the issues he believed voters ought to have considered  before casting their vote.

“I’ve proven over the last six years that a promise made is a promise kept,” said Katz.

He emphasizes that he brings to the task “business acumen,” and does not merely “rubber stamp” ideas that the municipal administration comes up with.

“For most people, the purchase of their home may be the  largest business transaction they have,” adds  Katz, who was a businessman prior to taking on the task of being Mayor.

Katz says, “I understand deferred maintenance, terms of amortization, and other business  terms" which he feels gives him the necessary skill set to analyze budget proposals “and ask relevant questions, without just rubber stamping the city administration’s proposals.”

“I’ve known what its like to meet a payroll and what’s necessary to start up a business,” he notes.

A person without business acumen, he says, is more likely just to rubber stamp the proposals of others.

Katz told the Winnipeg Jewish Review that he disagrees with the proposal of his opponent Judy Wasylycia-Leis  to raise property  taxes.

“This is regressive tax, that adversely affects seniors and people on fixed incomes,” he says.

He maintains that if “you raise property taxes by 1%, the City will get $4.2 million” but if the City, instead got one percent of  the Provincial Sales Tax, it would get  $130 million in revenue.”

Katz is of the view that  the city ought to lobby for a percent of PST revenue because currently “out of  every dollar of tax revenue 65 cents goes to the Province, 28 cents goes to the Federal Government, and 7 cents goes to the City. But the City comprises over 2/3 of the Province. Clearly, we’re not getting our fair share.”

Katz says raising property taxes as his opponent suggests will not enable the City to address its infrastructure deficit. It would be able to address this deficit if the City got its fair share of PST.

“We have an association of Manitoba municipalities and we are lobbying the government to do it [raise the municipal share of PST]...,” he says.

Katz maintains that any revenue raised by increasing property taxes will not be able to address the infrastructure deficit.

“It will go into a black hole into general revenue,” he says.

Katz adds that if he is re-elected as Mayor, the City will be seen as a good place to invest in.

“We want to make sure that people want to invest here,” he says.

He notes that under his helm, when other cities across North America suffered in the recession, a “company such as IKEA came here to invest…We want to make sure that continues to happen.”

Katz also said that everyone should make sure that they come out and vote, as it is their civic duty.

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Rhonda Spivak, Editor

Publisher: Spivak's Jewish Review Ltd.

Opinions expressed in letters to the editor or articles by contributing writers are not necessarily endorsed by Winnipeg Jewish Review.