I was quite surprised to see a
recent article headline that stated - “Calgary can thank the province forits continued strong credit rating”. As Vice Chair of Finance, I am very
puzzled with this statement, and I am looking forward to the supporting
financial documentation that backs it up. The previous and current
provincial government have actually delayed MSI payment to the City of Calgary.
In fact, last council we received the report noting that because of the delayed
payments, an additional $98M dollars of interest had to be paid by the City
(Calgary tax payers). The City also pays for several services that are
not within the core city responsibilities, such as Access Calgary and
affordable/attainable housing. What is taken from the provincial
property tax side is not fully returned to the City of Calgary. From my
perspective, I would gladly take over the provincial portion of property tax
and not ask for any infrastructure money again.
A more accurate statement
would be – “Despite the constant download of responsibilities from the
province, the City of Calgary has continued to manage its finances and keep its
excellent credit rating status”.
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