Most citizens of Calgary pay tax in two major ways: income tax that comes off your paycheque and residential property tax.
- The income tax that comes from a paycheque or tax return is collected by the federal and provincial governments to provide services such as healthcare, education, maintenance of highways and national parks.
- The property tax you pay each year is collected by the Province and The City with approximately 60 per cent of the property tax going to The City.
What does The City’s portion of your property tax pay for?
Services that you use every day!
- In your community – police, fire and emergency services; affordable housing and youth programs; planning for the future of new and existing communities; recreational and arts programs, events and festivals; wellness initiatives; and bylaw services.
- In your city – maintenance of public spaces; disaster response services; protection of historical resources.
- On the road – construction and maintenance of pedestrian pathways and roads, streetlights and traffic control, street cleaning and snow removal.
- In the environment – the collection of garbage from our homes, climate change action, and the care and management of parks and green spaces.
- Other essential services provide citizens access to information through 311, they operate and maintain City facilities, and ensure planning and resources are in place to build a great city.
Some services are not paid for by property taxes, but by user fees. For example: In your home, services such as clean, quality drinking water, and recycling are all services with user fees attached. In other cases, it’s a combination, such as public transit which is funded by both taxes and user fees.
Where do your property tax dollars go?
In 2014, the municipal portion of the typical annual residential tax bill is $1,611 (based on a median single family residential property assessed at $430,000). In 2013, Council approved a rebate of approximately $100 (based on a median single family residential property). This means, in 2014, the typical Calgary household will pay $126 per month in municipal property taxes to support the delivery of major services that Calgarians count on every day.
How are property tax rates established?
Each year, Council approves the amount of expenditure required to support City services. From this amount, revenue sources other than property tax, such as business tax, licence fees, user fees and provincial grants are subtracted. The balance is the amount raised by property taxes. Tax rates are established to calculate property tax and reflect the amount of taxes to be paid for every dollar of assessed value.
How does Calgary compare?
According to a 2012 Residential Property Taxes and Utility Charges Survey, Calgary in 2012 had some of the lowest municipal property taxes among 13 major Canadian municipalities.