Desperate Manitoba town offering huge tax breaks to keep Tolko paper mill running
The company announced last month they would close up shop on Dec. 2 and lay off 300 workers because the mill is no longer financially sustainable
The company announced last month they would close up shop on Dec. 2 and lay off 300 workers because the mill is no longer financially sustainable.
Mayor Jim Scott says Tolko leaving would cripple the town’s economy.
But he says he’s found a temporary solution by offering them a tax break of $840,000 a year for three years.
He says the company would not have to pay property tax, business tax or education tax.
Scott says it is not a last-ditch effort.
“I just see it as checking out every possible opportunity,” he says. “We have a very narrow window here. I know it closes on Dec. 2, but we really need to have someone in place in the next two to three weeks as a viable purchaser.”
He adds the impact of Tolko leaving is far greater than the town losing out on millions in taxes.
“They provide an annual payroll of $37 million. So (the tax exemption) hurts, hurts, hurts, but that’s a pain that you can live with. It’s a lot easier to live with that than losing out on $37 million.”