This year’s property taxes were mailed out at the beginning
of June and since then we have received numerous calls and emails asking why has there been an increase and why it’s so high. I’d like to give you some
background information to help understand where the numbers are coming from and
where exactly your tax dollars go.
Every year, the City of Calgary
collects taxes on behalf of the Provincial Government. This year, the City
collected $784.8 million on the Alberta Government’s behalf which is an
increase of $69.6 million from last year. The increase in the Alberta
Government’s provincial property tax results in an increase of approximately
10.2 per cent for residential property owners and 4.6 per cent non-residential
property owners in Calgary. In light of the downturn in the economy and
to help local property owners and corporations facing revenue shortfalls, City Council
reduced the 2016 municipal property tax increase by 1.2 per cent to 3.5 per
cent for both residential and non-residential property owners. This will assist
property owners without impacting the delivery of City services or service
levels. When the 10.2 per cent increase passed down from the Alberta Government
and the 3.5 per cent municipal property tax increases are factored together,
the result is a combined property tax increase of 6.1 per cent for the typical
residential property owner.
The municipal tax rate has increased
this year for the following reasons: After the approval of Action Plan
2015-2018, the economic downturn began to affect The City and the community we
serve. Municipal revenues have dropped below the level budgeted in Action
Plan. At the same time, the most recent civic census shows that overall service
demand and growth pressures in the community have remained high and actually
exceed earlier forecasts.
There’s no doubt that we are in a
difficult economic climate, the reality is that Calgary as a city is still
growing. Last year alone we saw an increase of approximately 40,000 people to
the city. An increasing population means an increased need for services and
infrastructure. It is also important to note that 75% of the money the City
collects to fund police, fire, transit, roads, parks and more. To see where you
property taxes are being spent, follow the link and enter your 2016 property
Property Taxes are due by June 30th or alternatively; you can
make paying your property taxes easier through the City’s Tax Instalment
Payment Plan (TIPP). You can make monthly payments towards your property tax
instead of paying it in full once a year. Visit www.calgary.ca/TIPP
or call 311 for more
Help is available to assist eligible low-income homeowners who meet income
guidelines and eligibility criteria, regardless of age. For more information or
to download an application form visit www.calgary.ca/fairentry.
The Alberta Government offers a Seniors Property Tax Deferral Program that
allows eligible senior homeowners to defer all or part of their property taxes
through a low-interest home equity loan with the Alberta Government. For more
information go to www.seniors.gov.ab.ca
or call the Alberta Supports Contact line at 1-877-644-9992.
If you have any questions or concerns, please contact my office at firstname.lastname@example.org
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.