Manitoba budgets for highway improvements despite lowering business taxes

WINNIPEG — Manitoba’s government delivered its ninth consecutive balanced budget and followed in the national trend of including significant funding for highway improvements.

Budget 2008 will help to renew Manitoba’s infrastructure by continuing investments in roads, bridges, schools, hospitals and flood protection.

“Manitoba’s extensive network of highways and railways coupled with our international airport and deepwater seaport represent a significant competitive advantage for Manitoba business,” says Finance Minister Greg Selinger. “Lack of investment during the 1990s left Manitoba with a legacy of aging roads and bridges in need of repair and replacement.”

Of the $1.2 billion earmarked for infrastructure funding, $601 million will be used for highway improvements and flood protection.

Tax savings in the recently announced Manitoba budget include a plan to drop the small business rate to one percent and a new measure to help manufacturers dealing with the impact of the high Canadian dollar, as well as other personal benefits.

According to Selinger, the new tax reductions will save Manitoba families, individuals and businesses $182 million annually.

“Like our previous eight budgets, Budget 2008 reduces taxes in a strategic, affordable way,” adds Selinger. “We have kept and exceeded our promises to cut property, personal and business taxes, and have done this by following through on multi-year plans that have reduced taxes across the board.”

As well as dropping the small business tax rate to one percent, down from two percent, the budget reduces the general Corporation Income Tax rate to 12 percent in July 2009, with a goal of moving to 11 percent in future years.

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