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One year later, Winkler's local economy is seeing the benefits of a new tax break for expanding and new businesses.

Started in 2017, companies constructing a new building have received a grant in lieu of taxes after applying for the program. Winkler Mayor Martin Harder explains the grant will be based on the added tax assessment on the expansion. "The first year... the 6.3 mills which is your basic tax base, that will be eliminated."

Now in the second year of the program companies owe 20 percent of a full tax payment, increasing by 20 percent each consecutive year until the full rate is reached by year six. Harder says the phased approach is meant to encourage their industrial base.

"It's literally tens of thousands of dollars, it's a huge incentive for our industrial and commercial businesses to invest in Winkler."

He notes they've seen tremendous growth in the past year, some of which is attributed to the incentive plan. "I know there have been several [businesses] that have come because of the incentive, because for a significant size of business it's a lot of money."

Since starting the program, Harder notes other communities around the province have adopted a similar program. "It feels good to be a leader."

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