Making Calgary more Competitive, Livable and Attractive

FINANCIAL TASK FORCE RECOMMENDATIONS Focus 6: Making Calgary more Competitive, Livable and Attractive

Balancing livability and tax competitiveness


To address the need to improve tax competitiveness without sacrificing livability, the Task Force recommended The City further develop and sustain Calgary’s superior livability outcomes while having competitive residential and non-residential property taxes.

In response, Corporate Economics continues to measure and benchmark tax competitiveness amongst Canadian cities using the largest cities and regional municipalities in the Calgary region for comparison. 

The 2020 Residential Property Taxes and Utility Charges Survey is complete. This latest survey includes two new questions, (in addition to regular questions about residential property taxes and utility rates), regarding non-residential property classes and taxes for two types of commercial properties to address Task Force recommendations: 

  1. downtown high-rise office space, and
  2. big box retail of 50,000 square feet or more.

A total of 8 cities responded to the new questions regarding non-residential properties and the findings are available in the survey.

Building capacity to offer relief when prevailing economic conditions demand


During the Special Meeting of Council on 2020 Adjustments to One Calgary Service Plans and Budgets, Council directed Administration to identify strategies and tactics to reduce the responsibility of taxpayers for the remainder of the One Calgary cycle. The City’s Solutions for Achieving Value and Excellence (SAVE) was created in response to this direction. Informed by feedback from front-line employees, Council and Calgarians, the SAVE team explored various options and approaches to balance overall service delivery, affordability, and risk. The program delivered $26.4 million in net base budget savings in 2021 and $53.2 million in base savings in 2022, exceeding the program’s original targets.

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