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The RM of Montcalm wants the provincial government to create a tiered business tax rate in this province and it's spearheading that idea through a resolution to the Association of Manitoba Municipalities' (AMM) convention this year.

Currently, there is only one set tax rate that is applied to all businesses, which can put a burden on small businesses.

Derek Sabourin, reeve for the RM of Montcalm, would like to see a tiered tax rate that is based on an assessment.

"We find it unfair that we administer that tax to the small local businesses at the same rates that we do to the larger businesses," Sabourin explained.  

"We're lobbying for... us to have the ability to tier it so we can exempt the smaller businesses from paying that tax," he added.

Sabourin said the council would like to see the province create more options.

"We just would like to be able to have flexibility in determining where we could start applying that tax, at what assessment. Right now we don't have that," he said. "Right now we have zero flexibility, and it's one rate for all."

He notes a tiered system would be a tool that municipalities could use to help their small businesses.

"We're cognizant of the fact that we've raised business taxes, not to punish or extract more from small businesses, but right now we have no other way," Sabourin said.  

"If the province would allow us to do that, then it would be up to us to determine where the business tax would start to kick in," he added. "We'd want that flexibility."

The 19th Annual AMM Convention will take place Nov. 27-29 at the Keystone Centre Brandon. Delegates will have a total of 49 resolutions to vote on at the convention.

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