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Priorities and Finance Committee Jun. 5, 2018

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The June 5, 2018, Priorities and Finance Committee meeting included:

10 Year Economic Strategy Update and Refresh

Administration presented a report on Building on our Energy: An Economic Strategy for Calgary stewarded by Calgary Economic Development (CED); a road map that guides collaborative economic development activities in Calgary and establishes shared priorities. Implementation of the Strategy was accelerated in 2017 with the investment of $2.3 million of the $7 million in Community Economic Resiliency Funds approved by Council in 2016. In 2017, these funds supported efforts related to renewable energy, transportation and logistics, creative industries, agribusiness, and innovation. At the end of 2017, CED initiated a process to refresh the Strategy to address Calgary’s changing economy, leverage emerging opportunities for economic diversification, and align with the development of a Calgary Resilience Strategy through the 100 Resilient Cities network. The report brought forward a refreshed strategy for consideration and approval. The Priorities and Finance approved the report and it will go forward to council.

Corporate Affordable Housing Strategy Q2 2018 Update

Administration gave an update on Foundations for Home: Calgary’s Corporate Affordable Housing Strategy 2016-2025, which was approved in 2016, along with the accompanying Implementation Plan. Some highlights of the progress that has been made so far are:

  • City programs have now supported the development of 2,000 non-market housing units.
  • The timelines for planning approvals for non-market housing have been customized and significantly expedited. 
  • The City is in the process of selling six parcels of land to non-market housing developers.

Committee approved this update to go forward to council.

Compassionate Property Tax Penalty Relief

In 2017 Council approved a Notice of Motion directing Administration to investigate tax forgiveness programs and legislation existing within Canada, and to assess the potential revenue and legal ramifications to The City of cancelling tax penalties due to extraordinary circumstances experienced by property owners. The committee approved administration recommendations that this item go forward to council and that council:

  1. Receive for information the Summary of Tax Penalty Relief Programs from Other Jurisdictions. 
  2. Approve the proposed Compassionate Property Tax Penalty Relief Program.
  3. Direct Administration to offer Compassionate Property Tax Penalty Relief, as outlined in this report, upon approval of the City Charter Bylaw delegating Council authority for this function to Administration.
  4. Direct Administration to report back through Priorities and Finance Committee on the results of the proposed program, including cost and number of participants, no later than 2019 Q4.

Council Innovation Fund Application: Improving Budget Transparency

Councillor Demong is sponsoring an application to the Council Innovation Fund (CIF) with the cooperation and support of the One Calgary Program Team and The City of Calgary’s Finance business unit to improve budget transparency and communications during the One Calgary program which is developing The City of Calgary’s 2019-2022 business plans and budgets. The application requests a withdrawal of $150,000 to support several measures to improve the transparency of how citizens’ tax dollars are spent and enhanced public communications during the One Calgary process. The item is being forwarded to the June 18 Strategic Meeting of Council.

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​​​

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