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City revenue and expenditures

What are the City's revenue sources?

The charts below demonstrate the total City operating budget including utilities and other self-supported areas. The charts illustrate that revenues and expenditures equal each other and result in a balanced budget.

Funding the 2014 Operating Budget: $3.2 billion


Funding the Operating Budget – Pie Chart  
$3.2 billion including all City revenue including revenue from such self-supported areas as utilities and fleet services.


Spending the 2014 Operating Budget: 3.2 billion 

Spending the Operating Budget – Pie Chart  
What is an operating budget?
  • Items of revenue, recoveries and expenditures relating to ongoing operations.
  • Net operating budget: the budget amount funded from property taxes after expenditures have been subtracted from revenues.
  • Self-supported programs – programs funded mainly by revenues from their own operations.
  • The Alberta Municipal Government Act requires Council to adopt a balanced operating budget.

Property tax as a revenue source

Of The City's total revenue sources for the operating budget, property taxes account for approximately 42 per cent. Residential property taxes account for about 20 per cent of The City's operational funding. Other revenue sources may vary depending on usage and external circumstances such as market fluctuations and third-party conditions.​​​

Understanding City Revenue Sources

The City’s revenue structure poses several key challenges:

  • Most revenue sources are either frozen or stagnant and do not increase with inflation and growth.
  • In Calgary, the cost of a fixed basket of goods and services purchased by The City typically increases at a faster rate than the cost of a fixed basket of goods and services purchased by a household.
  • Revenues are not keeping up with costs of inflation and growth.
  • Property taxes are a higher percentage of The City's total revenue due to other funding sources increasing at a lower rate. Property tax has gone from 37% of total revenue in 2009, to 42% of total revenue in 2014.

Property taxes, rates and user fees are the only source of revenue that can be directly affected to balance increases in expenditures.

  • The property tax portion of revenues has to increase at a higher rate to balance inflation and other cost increases.
  • For example, a three per cent increase in expenditures requires a property tax rate increase of approximately five per cent to balance the budget.

Revenue & Expenditures - Tax-supported service areas


Revenues and expenditures chart