The City of Calgary released their Action Plan 2015-2018 Mid-Cycle Adjustments Report yesterday afternoon. The report responds to direction from City Council and builds on the findings of work conducted over the year. The document provides an overall strategy for The City to deliver results and respond to citizens’ needs and priorities through the 2017 and 2018 business plans and budgets.
We are taking action to both ease taxes and hold, or reduce, City-related fees. We’re also being very selective to make sure we’re addressing the areas of greatest need in our capital investments. The mid-cycle adjustments include approximately $184 million per year in efficiencies and savings.
Administration has undertaken extensive research, consultation and citizen engagement to better understand how the current economic climate has impacted the wider community as well as city operations. In addition, the input my office collected from constituents back in the spring (we had over 500 responses) has helped to inform these adjustments. The results show a shift in citizen priorities that have emerged as a result of the economic downturn.
The consultation and analysis conducted through the Mid-Cycle Adjustment process led to a June 2016 decision of Council to reduce the original 2017 property tax increase to 1.5%, with a one-time property tax rebate for 2017 to effectively bring the property tax rate increase to zero. In addition, Council decided to:
- fund the reduction in the tax rate through a combination of further efficiency gains, service reductions and corporate funding;
- maintain the 2016 freeze on transit and some other user fees; and
- request Administration to identify specific, targeted projects and initiatives to help those most in need as a result of the shift in the economy.
Citizens and business owners will benefit from initiatives in four broad areas: tax relief, fee relief in a number of areas, investments in initiatives to address our greatest community need, and investment in new infrastructure. Our job at The City is to find more ways for us to all work together and support each other through these hard times.
City Council will be making mid-cycle adjustments to The City’s Action Plan starting on November 21, 2016, at 9:30 am in Council Chambers. Public submissions will be heard after an opening presentation.
This content represents the personal views and opinions of the Ward Councillor and should not be taken as a statement of policy of The City of Calgary. The inclusion of any external content does not imply endorsement by The City of Calgary.