Action Plan is The City's business plan and budget document. It was developed in 2014 for the years 2015-2018.
The Action Plan Mid-Cycle Adjustments Report was approved by Council on November 23, 2016. The adjustments respond to feedback from citizens and take into account the significant shift that has taken place in the local economy since The City’s four year Action Plan was approved in 2014.
Action Plan 2015-2018 Mid-Cycle Adjustments Report (C2016-0863)
Highlights of the approved adjustments
The approved adjustments include $198.6 million in total benefits that citizens and businesses will receive from relief in taxes and fees, savings, and targeted initiatives.
- All property owners will benefit in seeing the original 2017 property tax rate increase reduced from 4.7 to 1.5 per cent. Council will provide a one-time rebate in 2017 to all property owners to cover that increase.
- Homeowners, transit riders, recreation users, parks users, and business owners will benefit from approximately $66.2 million in fee relief for:
- Transit fares
- Recreation, parks, and pet service fees
- Planning, development and fire code inspections and permits
- Landfill tipping fees
- Green Cart program fees in 2017
- The low income transit pass will continue to be provided at the current rate for the first quarter of 2017. After that, a sliding scale fare schedule for Transit’s Low Income Monthly Pass will be implemented based on income.
- Those who have been particularly hard hit by the economic downturn will benefit from $9.1 million in increased funding to support community and social programs, community events, affordable housing, and initiatives to support new and existing businesses.
- The property tax rate reduction and property tax rebate are being achieved through a combination of corporate funding sources, department savings from efficiencies and service reductions, totalling $73 million.
- The adjustments also offset the impact of a $35.3 million drop in some City revenues.
- The City’s Capital Investment Plan will help spur economic growth and diversification, maximize investment to create jobs, build and maintain infrastructure, and attract and retain people, business and investment to Calgary. The Capital Investment Plan will be funded through existing capital sources and better position The City of Calgary to take advantage of federal and provincial grant funding programs.
- City Council also set aside $15 million from the Fiscal Stability Reserve to assist Calgary businesses affected by the economic downturn. Administration will return to Council no later than the end of 2017 January with options for Council consideration.
The Mid-Cycle Adjustments provides an overall strategy for The City to deliver results and respond to citizens’ needs and priorities through its 2017 and 2018 business plans and budgets.
Mid-Cycle Adjustments Process
On Dec. 18, 2015, Council approved the mid-cycle adjustments process for 2017 and 2018. This process includes five Council Strategic Sessions, which serve as information and decision points for Council.
Engagement results and market research
Administration undertook extensive research, consultation and citizen engagement to understand how the current economic climate has impacted the wider community and the organization:
- The public was engaged through a variety of online and in-person methods, including online surveys and engage bus events. The Action Plan 2015-2018 Engagement Summary Report reflects the diverse and thoughtful opinions, priorities, concerns and community aspirations of over 8,700 Calgarians who participated in the engagement.
- A series of workshops were conducted with approximately 100 representatives from community organizations, businesses and City of Calgary departments to better understand the impact of the economy and the economic scenarios on the community.
- Research on the social impacts of economic downturns was compiled by the University of Calgary, and used to inform targeted initiatives focused on those hit particularly hard by the downturn.
- Workshops with City subject matter experts were conducted to generate low-cost and no-cost ideas to address emerging needs.
Citizen Satisfaction Research and telephone surveys undertaken to gain better insight into Calgarians’ point of view on the economy, on quality of life, and City investments. Key themes emerged from the research and have guided Administration’s focus for mid-cycle adjustments for 2017 and 2018:
- Citizens are more focused on the state of the local economy and less on growth and expanded services, and their willingness to bear property tax and fee increases has dropped.
- The economic downturn has affected many Calgarians – both individuals and businesses. Your Council and City recognize the impact of the downturn and are taking action to ease taxes and fees to help you and our community. The City remains in a solid financial position.
- The adjustments continue The City’s response to the economic downturn and expand on the strategy to benefit all Calgarians while targeting support to those most severely affected.
The results show a shift in citizen priorities and negative impacts that have emerged as a result of the economic downturn. This research guided Administration’s focus for mid-cycle adjustments for 2017 and 2018.
Administration will report back to Council no later than the end of January 2017 with options for Council to consider around utilizing the $15 million from the Fiscal Stability Reserve to assist Calgary businesses affected by the economic downturn.
The Deputy City Manager will return to Council no later than Q2 2017 with recommendations for new or currently unfunded capital investment projects.