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Combined Meeting of Council Apr. 8, 2019

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The Apr. 8, 2019, Combined Meeting of Council included:

2019 Property Tax Related Bylaws

Council continued discussion on the downtown tax shift and Administration’s recommendations to address the impact of downtown vacancy rates, and decline in property values of downtown office buildings, that has led to redistribution of approximately $250 million from primarily downtown office properties to other non-residential properties primarily outside the downtown. The report included immediate options for Council consideration to address the shift in tax revenue for the 2019 property tax cycle. The impact of shifting the $250 million property tax share from vacancies in the downtown offices to non-residential properties outside of the downtown will ultimately have a negative impact on businesses across the city. To help address this problem, The City will transfer some property tax from non-residential properties to residential property accounts to more equitably distribute the share of property taxes in Calgary. With approximately 500,000 residential properties compared to 13,815 non-residential properties, the impact of tax redistribution is significantly less per property owner. The approved recommendation applies tax room of $27 million to non-residential property tax, resulting in: 

  • A 3.45% tax rate increase for combined residential property tax (6.67% for municipal and -1.66% for provincial). For the median residential property owner with a home valued at $475,000 this will mean an annual increase of $105 on the total tax bill. 
  • A 3.07% tax rate decrease for the combined non-residential property tax rate (-1.77% for municipal and - 7.95% for provincial). For a property valued at $5 million in 2018 and 2019, this will result in an annual increase in the combined of approximately $9,300 including the impact of the tax shift. 
  • A tax revenue share of 47% residential (+1% change) and 53% non-residential (-1% change). 

Council approval of 2019 property tax bylaws ensures property tax bills can be prepared for mail out in May 2019. Property taxes are due June 28, 2019.

Notice of Motion: School Safe Zones

This notice of motion was brought forward to Council with the recommendation that children, as minors, should feel psychologically safe when accessing schools, which includes being protected from harmful expression or protest conducted by public interest groups that interferes, bullies, intimidates, or conveys hateful views. There are currently no City of Calgary bylaws that specifically address the safeguarding of children accessing schools from harmful expression, and this notice of motion calls for the need to balance the rights of persons of all ages to peacefully protest, with the rights of children to be safeguarded from harmful expression. Council approved this notice of motion and directed Administration to: (1) Review concerns regarding exposure to harmful expression around school sites, in collaboration with Calgary school boards and school districts; (2) Undertake a review of whether The City of Calgary has the jurisdiction required to enact a constitutionally defensible bylaw that establishes a safe zone around schools where harmful expression would be prohibited; and (3) Return to Council with recommendations on how best to safeguard children accessing schools from harmful expressions, reporting through the Standing Policy Committee on Community and Protective Services no later than Q4 2019.

Council News in Brief is an informal summary of highlights from Calgary City Council meetings. The City Clerk provides the complete and formal documentation of Council’s meetings including agendas, minutes and video.

More Council News in Brief – highlights from Council and committee meetings​​