March 6, 2017
In January, I asked Administration for a more detailed breakdown
of the opportunities that the City was able to find in order to create $228 million
in benefits. Across the board, The City has kept taxes and fees as low as
possible while responding to the priorities and needs of Calgarians.
Council reduced the budget through corporate funding
sources, operating efficiencies and service reductions. Here is a summary of what
your City is doing for you during the downturn:
$73m - Tax relief
Council reduced the 2017 property tax rate increase to 1.5% which will be
covered through a one-time rebate to property owners. This was a unanimous vote
in a June 2016 council meeting, where it was decided to dip into the Fiscal
Stability Reserve to carry out the freeze.
$66m - Fee relief
Council adjusted some 2017 fees and rates to provide relief, amending what
was originally planned in the 2015-2018 budget, including zero-to-minimal
increases to Calgary Transit fares, recreation facilities, park sites, and
waste management. To help ease the introduction of one of our new programs,
there will be no fees for the remainder of 2017 for the Green cart composing
For more information, visit: http://www.calgary.ca/CA/fs/Pages/Plans-Budgets-and-Financial-Reports/User-Fees-and-Rates.aspx
$45m - Non-Residential Phased Tax Program
Market changes caused a drop in value for some non-residential properties
and a redistribution of taxes. The Phased Tax Program will limit the 2017 tax
increase to 5% for some non-residential properties (not including the effect of
business tax consolidation or the provincial portion of the tax rate that is
announced in the spring).
$35m - Offsetting revenue shortfall
The City also offset a drop in revenue from fees through it’s by adjusting
its services to the point where it would not affect the tax rate. This included
small tweaks that added up to a big difference, including reduced hours, and ending
our annual Christmas tree pick-up program.
$9m - Community support
Targeted initiatives will benefit Calgarians who have been most affected by
the economic downturn, including community and social programs, Affordable
housing, and community events and festivals that are simultaneously returning
and growing (eg. Globalfest, Beakerhead), while facing our current downturn.
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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.